What's This? November 2020

Down the Hatch!

Answer: The horse drench circa 1720.

Farrier William Gibson patented this item in 1718. This pewter-like object was used to blow medications into horses and cattle. It was also used to give castor oil and powders to children. This horse drench, on display at the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Veterinary Medicine, is one of more than 500 veterinary instruments shared between Michigan State and the veterinary medical museum at the Galloway House and Village in Fond du Lac, Wis.

Besides patenting the horse drench, Gibson was the author of The Farrier’s New Guide, published in 1720. According to the Michigan State University’s “History of Equine Anatomy in Veterinary Medicine” website (lib.msue.edu/exhibits/equine/foot), Gibson became known as the father of British veterinary medicine and a “careful clinical observer who added to the sum of human knowledge.”




Do you have a shoe or tool you would like to share or want more information about? Submit photos of your item as well as its history and how it was used to Kristen Kubisiak at kkubisiak@lessitermedia.com


November 2020

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