Shown here is a steam powered inhaler. A spirit burner in the base boils water in the reservoir which passes across the top of a tube suspended in the medication solution. The passage of the steam draws the medication into the vapour. The patient inhales the vapour through the glass mouthpiece. The illustration shown is from Hunter (1872) who refers to it as a Dr Siegel inhaler. Hunter attributes the principle as a French invention. Prof James (1884) informs us that Sales-Girons presented the principle at the medical academy of Paris in 1858, though this relied on a pump rather than steam. A similar device attributed to Dr Siegle is shown in Morrell Mackenzie’s 1871 book ‘Use of the Laryngoscope’.
The advert alongside is from 1874. The advert below from 1907 shows a nasal application. Also shown, a boxed Japanese version of this inhaler, below.