Historical information

At the time of manufacture, circa 1940's, the first aid treatment for snake bites, was to lance(cut) open the bite, wash it out and apply a ligature or tourniquet between the bite and the heart. This method was abandoned later after scientific evidence suggested that it was better to stop the blood system from carrying the poison to the heart (pressure immobilization). Australian snakes do not have long fangs therefore deep incisions into main arteries is rare. This research took many years to develop therefore the information supplied with the "Sanax" kits of this era is well outdated. Rural areas were more attuned to the possibilities of snake activity on farms, in sheds and in out houses and farm homesteads. This was not the case for mainly city and large townships environments. The mice plagues in wheat areas during the warmer month s has always been a high risk time for encountering snakes


These snake bite kits were issued to workers on the Kiewa Hydro Electricity Scheme. Some of these snake bite kits were kept at doctor's surgeries e.g. Bogong Village, House 13. The kit was carried by bushwalkers, scouts, farmers and high plains cattlemen. This item is of significance because it demonstrates the main dangers faced by all rural industries and towns, especially remote areas, and the portable remedies that where required as a necessity of the Australian bush environment. This item was in use at a time when the air ambulance and rescue facilities were not in existence and remote locations were more isolated and the availability of anti venom was hard to obtain locally.

Physical description

This item is a red coloured cardboard box(250 - 300 g/m) with white writing and containing the following 12 items. 7 clear red coloured capsules, 2 opaque red plastic capsules, 2 wooden capsules and 1 brass screw on capsule. The capsules are divided into two sections (compartments) horizontally. Each compartment has a screw lid. One compartment contains a lancet (for piercing the snake bite) and the other compartment contains the "Condy's" crystals compete with tightly rolled instructions.

Inscriptions & markings

On top of the pull up lid, and flanked by two coiled snakes (at the strike position) is printed: "Trade Sanax Mark" below this " SNAKE and SPIDER BITE OUTFIT" and below this with instructions for use". Front side: "Sanax snake and spider bite outfit" underneath "Nepean Highway Morabbin" The later printing has been severely scratched but decipherable. The back side of the box has "Note to the retailer" and due to wear no more of the writing can be read. Each side of the box is printed "SANAX"