Historical information

This type of test tube would have been used to collect blood or other bodily fluids. IT may also have been used to boil urine to identify the presence of urinary abnormalities such as sugar albumen acetone or bile.


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

Glass test tube with a thin glass lip in original cylinder cardboard case. Case is in two section, lid and body - lid is lined with white cardboard.