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first aid box

New object of the month display

By Object of the Month

One of our young volunteers, Alastair Ritchie, created the new object of the month display for March.  The object in question is a Minimax First Aid Kit which we believe dates from World War Two.  Here, Alastair explains the display he created with the assistance of Morgan and Steven.

The First Aid Box was originally donated by Norman Harker who informed us that it had been owned by a soldier Alex Thomson who was a member of the KOSB (King’s Own Scottish Border Regiment). During my time looking into this item I discovered some of the history of the company Minimax mainly….

  • Minimax Limited is a British Company who first opened in 1903

  • The Company is often referred to as Minimax as the nickname given to it fire extinguishers (see one below)

  • They later opened a factory in Feltham Middlesex in 1911 which produced 1,000 extinguishers a month

  • The junction near the factory was later called ‘Minimax Corner’ which became a famous landmark.

  • The company would sell their produce to King Edward VII along with many foreign countries

In 1905 Minimax Limited won the ‘highest award’ for extinguishers in a St. Louis exhibition

This decorated doorway is all that remains of the original Minimax Limited factory

The First Aid box very fortunately did include a large amount of contents that were both fascinating to research and great to assist in putting together a display, in a physical sense as well as a online senses (refer to Morgan expertise on the last one). The various forms of basic medical were intriguing to analysis as they provide a glimpse into something that is both old but also very familiar, because we all know how painful and worrying a injury which requires first aid can be, but to then take that experience and imagination it happening far more regularly with even worser damage caused by the many danger of WW2 helps to give a better understanding of how the war effect some many aspects of live.

The items which you can now see on display are below……


    B.P.C. No.9 LARGE: MEDICATED WOUND DRESSING: Used to dress a preferred ably, cleaned wound in the hope to stop infection of the wound.

  • STERILIZED WHITE ABSORBENT WOOL PAD First Aid Home Office Dressings: The wool pad was placed between a dressing and a wound to soak up blood or to provide any kind of antiseptic to the wound.

  • STANDARD DRESSING B.P.C No. 12 LARGE BURN DRESSING: Bandage was used to treat burns that might occur from explosions, flamethrower injuries or accidents.

  • STANDARD DRESSING B.P.C no. 10 FINGER BURN DRESSING: provided to ease to the pain and to keep broken, fractured or seriously cut fingers

  • A pamphlet on the basic ways to treat minor injuries including burns or scalds, Acid, Alkali burns, Eye injuries

  • The Pamphlet was produced by Ministry of Labour and National Service for March 1943 (I know a Minstry for everything, the wonders of Government complexity)

This photograph shows nurses from World War Two and an Air Patrol Warden. These are the sort of people who would have carried and used a first aid kit such as this.

Front page of the Manual for the First Aid set along with the usual Company name and contact details

Here are some photos of the display within the Museum (it will be on display until the end of March) with Alastair arranging the objects.


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