The chronic infection of tonsils has been affecting human beings for hundreds if not thousands of year.

One of the most famous cases is the one of the first president of the United States, George Washington, who died of complication of tonsillitis. He fell ill and died on 14th December 1799.

Tonsillectomy by guillotine was a standard treatment for those who experienced recurring throat infections in the late 1800s. This method gradually fell out of favour in the twentieth century, although the technique still remains in use today.

This photograph shows a tonsil guillotine and dates from the 1960’s. It was given to the Archives by a local GP who gave me his GP’s bag, with contents, a few years ago.



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