Westchester Medical Society
By 1870, sterilization had become an important practice in the medical profession. Early surgical tools and instrument handles were made of wood and ivory. However, these materials could not withstand high heat, so manufacturers began to make medical instruments entirely out of metal. In 1881 sterilization by boiling became popular. This bowl would have been used to boil objects in the operating room such as instruments, dressings, surgical gowns, and linens.