Utility room, Royal Alexandra Hospital, c. 1910

Utility room, c. 1910

A utility room at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, which is now part of Royal Sussex County Hospital. Cleaning materials and equipment are shown, giving an idea of how hospitals and hospital equipment was cleaned and sterilised at the time. (c, 1910). The labels on the row of bottles for chemicals and cleaning fluids on the shelf cannot be read, but they would have included carbolic acid and bleach derivatives. Steam sterilisation was introduced in the late 19th century and gradually became widely used for surgical instruments.

Image courtesy of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.