Historical information

The enema box was used by midwife Mary Howlett in the 1880s on her district rounds. It was used to hold Ingram's Patent No. 1474 Seamless Enema Syringe, but the syringe is missing.


Mary Howlett (1840-1922) began practising as a country midwife in 1866 in the western district of Victoria. She qualified as a 'ladies monthly nurse' in 1887 and continued to practise as a nurse and midwife until 1920.She began her six months training at the Melbourne Lying-In Hospital. She was known by many as 'Auntie', and her career spanned more than 50 years. Mrs Howlett's midwifery box and contents were given to Dr Frank Forster, and he donated them to the museum collection in 1993.

Physical description

Oval shaped black leather case with gold clip. Base (.1) and lid (.2) have become separated. Instructions for use, and how to clean the instrument, are pasted inside the lid and base of the box.