You want to put what, where?  Uh, no, that’s OK I think I’ll pass.  Given the state of modern medicine and how far we’ve come in the last 50 to 100 years, I’d strongly recommend running in the exact opposite direction if you ever encounter one of these.

We’re back at the Metchosin Pioneer Museum today taking a look at a few antique needles and syringes.  This is a continuation of the running photoblog series we’ve posted “The Antiques Toad Show” that shares a large series of images we captured one day when our best friends, the Mudpuppies, facilitated an after-hours private shoot for us inside the museum.  Their dad, known as The Curator, was kind enough to make the museum available exclusively to us; a real photographic treat to say the least!

Antique Needles & Syringes - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Needles & Syringes - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

I really hate needles.  Always have.  If you haven’t heard from me in a couple of hours here, I’d sure appreciate someone sending out a search party in case I passed out at my desk.

But antique ones really make for compelling photography, don’t they?

It’s hard to think how far we’ve come in a short time, especially in the realm of modern medicine.  Just this past weekend we were at the Metchosin Schoolhouse where we had complete private after-hours access to the facility.  We came away with another huge set of images to share from that session.  As we were performing the shoot we were talking about life in the olden times and how things have changed.  At one point the discussion turned to old methods of gynecological care.  I have to say, some of the stuff we used to do to our fellow human beings, just a few decades ago, is rather hard to get your head around.

Antique Needles & Syringes - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Needles & Syringes - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Some may call this barbaric, some may call it a form of torture.  I call this one huge needle.  Anything that has a chamber this size intended to hold some form of chemical intended to be injected into someones body has to be the result of an Evil Scientist’s work, doesn’t it?  Some may even argue that these are veterinary devices.  To which I heartily respond “don’t horses have feelings too?”

Antique Needles & Syringes - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Needles & Syringes - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This last set we encountered was all I needed.  At this time in the shoot I became quite convinced we had accidentally stumbled into the lair of Doctor Evil himself.  I’ve seen 44 caliber bullets that are smaller than this thing!  As an honest matter of fact, is someone came at me with this I think I’d loudly profess to prefer the sidearm solution to being jabbed with this jousting lance.  And that would be the point I would begin my fast sprint.

So, next time you’re at the doctor’s office for whathaveyou, and the doctor wants to poke you with one of the modern, much smaller needles, just remember this post.  I am sure it’ll make you feel better.

Nah.  It didn’t work for me, either.

Thanks so very much for your kind visit here today, we really appreciate it!  As always, we really love to hear from all our visitors so please don’t hesitate to leave us your comments!!



  1. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Okay Toad. You are the only person I know that can make needles look and sound like fun. Terrific write-up (don’t you get tired of me saying that?) and some super images that have great details and textures.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I never tire of anything you have to share with us here, Len, and quite honestly we’re honored! Thank you once again for your kind visit, friendship & support here my friend, it means far more than we can properly express.

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wonderful (yet scary) images…LOL. I know what you mean about needles Toad I’m not a big fan either but I love this post and I love how you’ve photographed these (doctors’) tools of the trade.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, Edith! We really appreciate all your support and your wonderful comments here today!

  3. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Toad your blog today is very sharp,thanks for sharing mate.I think I got the point!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      HA! OK, that’s pretty witty there, Fred, thanks for popping by and bringing a smile to my Toad-like face!

  4. Great set of images Toad. I hate needles but these are stunning and the accompanying words are straight to the point

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Love your clever use of language here, Chris! Thanks so kindly for popping by and leaving us your comments, my friend, we sure do appreciate it!

  5. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Man, them some big needles! Great details in those close ups! Nice job!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Indeed, they are, my friend!! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by, and for leaving us your comments my friend!

  6. One could do construction work with these tools. Good set of photos. I like the portrayal of textures especially on the timeworn metal.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Never thought of that, but you are RIGHT there, Joseph! These COULD be construction tools!! LOL Great comments, my friend, thank you for popping by The Hollow!

  7. avatar Renee Besta says:

    Toad, these photos give me the creeps for sure. Your processing further adds to the horror and shock value of instruments used in the past on our poor fellow humans. I don’t mind modern day small needles myself, as I consider the medicine they deliver to be healing. However, these look like something out of a Frankenstein movie. Congrats on getting private access to the museum. But overall I say a great big “Ouch” to your post! ;))

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      :D Wonderful comment, Renee, thank you SO much for taking the time to visit us and for leaving these for everyone to enjoy! We really appreciate it!!

  8. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Oh man… That last picture got me, and I am usually pretty good with needles. Something out of a horror movie. Can you imagine how much that would hurt!!?? I’ll take the disease thank you very much :) Nice work buddy.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Yeh, no kidding, Adam, I am totally with ya on that one, my friend! :) Thanks for your visit, my friend, we really appreciate it!

  9. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Oh, my! I don’t like needles. I’m glad I didn’t grow up back then. I’m not sure I could handle seeing one of these coming at me from a doctor. Those look like they really hurt!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You and I both, Rick! I am pretty sure if I saw a Doctor coming at me with one of those, I’d just take whatever fate has in store for me with the disease! How would you even close a hole that big? Would you need welding tools and a big metal plate or something? LOL

  10. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Toad, seriously! You know how to freak a dude out with nothing more than an image. Needles suck, antique needles are FREAKY! Nice work however ;)

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      LOL! :) Thanks Chris, we really appreciate your great comments here! I totally agree with your sentiments, my friend, I hate needles and these ones look like they come from another planet to me!

  11. I’m just hoping that these weren’t from a dentist’s office. Now that would be painful. Great job as usual with the imagery and accompanying story Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I am thrilled to report that absolutely no dentist’s were involved, but now that you’ve mentioned it in the same post as these needles here, I went ahead and cancelled all my appointments for the next… 40 years. :) Thanks for your awesome visit and comments here, Steven, we really appreciate it so much!

  12. avatar LensScaper says:

    As a retired Medic these look pretty heinous objects – my waiting room would have emptied in a second if I appeared waving something like this! The second image looks remarkably like an ear syringe to me actually, but I may be wrong.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I hope you’re right there, Andy. At least the concept of an ear syringe doesn’t require a manhole sized opening to be left behind in the victim patient. :) Thanks so much for your visit and wonderful comments, my friend we really do appreciate it so much!

  13. avatar Jim Nix says:

    eesh! no thanks! but great images Toad!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Hehehehehehe!! There’s no WAY I could agree with you more there, Jim! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by and for leaving us your comments, my friend!!

  14. avatar ehpem says:

    Great photos Toad, as usual. I really like the application of your approach to HDR to these kinds of objects and their documentation – it works really well. I would think the Museum would be wanting you to take pictures for their cataloguing purposes.
    When I was a kid we had needles, plastic ones, more or less this size, or bigger but not sharp. They were for injecting antibiotics into the teats of cows with a mastitis infection – up through the opening in the teat, not puncuturing it. We sometimes repurposed the used ones to hold insecticide to spray into the openings of wasps nests (not to be reused for the milk cow).
    Having written all that, these look much more sinister and as they are designed for puncturing flesh. I too would stay well away from these.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Funny you should mention the cataloging aspect of this! We’ve been in talks with folks in the Metchosin group on this very topic. I expect it won’t be too much longer now before this happens officially, at least that’s our hope!

      What awesome comments you’ve left for us, once again, my friend. Thanks ever so kindly for taking the time to pop by and for leaving us these great thoughts to enjoy. :)

  15. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Like you, I’m no fan of needles. Having said that, these shots are quite interesting. Just thinking of how old these are and what history may have be associated with them is intriguing.

    You’ve captured the subject quite well, my friend.

  16. How do you manage to make needles such an interesting subject? Love the shots and, even more, your narrative – always look forward to reading your posts!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very much, Mark, that really means an awful lot to us my friend! We really hope you have a great weekend, and once again, thanks for all your support and friendship here.

  17. Nice series of photographs!

  18. I think that this might have some use if perhaps those that want to “shoot up” had to use one of these.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      That would undoubtedly result in cutting down, that’s for sure! LOL Great comments, Mike, thanks for your visit and for leaving these for us here!

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