Probang: Scultetus 1666

D. Ioannis Sculteti … Wund-artzneyisches Zeug-Hauss (Frankfurt: Johann Gerlin, 1666), Tab. X. NML Old Prints Collection, T 41. Fig. I presents an esophagus forceps,. recommended by Hildanus for removing small bones from the gullet as well.

Probangs with metal shafts were used by Giovanni Arcoli (1412-1484), Walter Ryff (1500-1568) and most importantly, Wilhelm Fabry von Hilden (Hildanus, 1560-1634). Johann Schultes (Scultetus, 1595-1645) published an engraving of a probang (Tab. 10, Fig. 2), which he describes as a silver tube the size of a swan feather and the length of 1 ½ feet [Werkschuh, ca. 40 cm]. This tube, with a line of perforations lengthwise and a piece of sponge the size of a hazelnut at the end, has been used and recommended by Hildanus … for favorable removal of fish bones, other small bones or such lodged in the pharynx or the throat.“ Jean-Louis Petit (1674-1750) attached the sponge to a spiral probe made of silver wire and placed a staff of whalebone, shaped as a „rat tail“ (Rattenschwanz) inside. Whalebone probangs remained common deep into the 19 century.


Scultetus (1666), Tab. XXIII