Historical information

This Minnitt machine was owned by Dr Mary Clementina DeGaris. Dr DeGaris qualified from medicine, MB BS, at the University of Melbourne in 1905. She continued her studies, becoming only the second woman in Victoria to qualify MD, in 1907. With the outbreak of war, DeGaris attempted to enlist as a doctor with the Australian Army but was refused. Undeterred she travelled to England, where she joined the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service, a medical group made up entirely of women. After the war, she returned to Australia and set up practice as an obstetrician in Geelong, Victoria. Subsequently, the Geelong Hospital named a wing after her, "DeGaris House", which is now part of Geelong Private Hospital.

DeGaris was awarded the St Saba medal, 3rd class, for her work during WWI.

Robert James Minnitt introduced the concept of self-administered analgesia, using an apparatus designed and built in conjunction with London scientific instrument-maker, Charles King. The Minnitt apparatus met with considerable success and led to further modifications, including the introduction of the Queen Charlotte gas-air analgesia apparatus in 1936.

Physical description

Brown leather suitcase with brass locks and leather handle. Inside the case is metal equipment, with arms for attaching cylinders. On top of the case, located underneath the handle, is a small brass plate, bearing the name of the owner in black printed script on a piece of card or paper held inside the plate.

Inscriptions & markings

Printed in black ink on name plate: Dr Mary C. De Garis.