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95/131/1 Hypodermic syringe, disposable, opaque polyethylene / metal, designed by Harry Willis, made by Charles Rothauser, Industrial Products Limited, Australia, 1949. Click to enlarge.

Disposable plastic syringe by Harry Whillis and Charles Rothauser

Designed
By 1949 penicillin injections were being used to treat most bacterial infections, but penicillin tended to clog up glass syringes and make them hard to clean. To solve the problem, Austrian immigrant, Charles Rothauser created the world's first plastic, disposable hypodermic syringe at his Adelaide factory.

He made the first syringes in polyethylene. However, because polyethylene softens with heat, the syringes had to be chemically sterilised prior to packaging, which made them expensive. In …

Summary

Object No.

95/131/1

Object Statement

Hypodermic syringe, disposable, opaque polyethylene / metal, designed by Harry Willis, made by Charles Rothauser, Industrial Products Limited, Australia, 1949

Physical Description

Hypodermic syringe, disposable, opaque polyethylene/metal, designed by Harry Willis, made by Charles Rothauser, Industrial Products Limited, Australia, 1949.

Opaque plastic syringe with plunger, needle & sheath for the needle.

Marks

Marked on finger rest "AUSTRALIAN PAT. APP./ 33393-50 & OTHERS"

Dimensions

Height

140 mm

Width

20 mm

Depth

25 mm

Production

Notes

Mr. Whillis designed the first polyetheylene disposable hypodermic syringe in the world. From 1943 penicillin was used by injection, and it tended to clog up glass & metal syringes.

Mr Rothauser manufactured disposable syringes for a company called Bickfords. He went on to establish the Caroma range of bathroom products.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Charles Rothauser AO

Acquisition Date

12 May 1995

Cite this Object

Harvard

Disposable plastic syringe by Harry Whillis and Charles Rothauser 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 May 2022, <https://ma.as/142882>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/142882 |title=Disposable plastic syringe by Harry Whillis and Charles Rothauser |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 May 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}