Bloodstick & fleams

These objects are a bloodstick and a set of fleams. They were used for bleeding farm animals. Until quite recently bleeding or blood-letting was a way to treat a range of illnesses in both humans and animals. A variety of specialist medical instruments was devised for cutting and opening veins. Fleams were mainly used on horses. The fleam was opened and one of the blades placed against the vein. The blade was struck with the bloodstick to make a quick, neat incision. If the fleam was used successfully the animal would be unaware that it had been cut. With horses it was common to open the jugular vein in the neck. A cover was placed over the creature’s head so that it couldn’t see what was happening. Many farmers were skilled in the use of fleams and would bleed their own animals when they were sick. These fleams were owned by Andrew Milroy and the brass case is inscribed with his name and the date 3 March 1843.
Object no :
Creator :
Place of Production :
Dimensions :
Bloodstick:L:220mm. Diam:270mm. Fleams:bladeL:95mm; handleL:95mm; W:45mm
Materials :
Bloodstick:wood. Fleams:brass, steel
Location :
Related site :
Accession number :
1987.551 (bloodstick), 1978.555 (fleams)
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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