In this new monthly blog series, members of our collections team will highlight some of the unique pieces that our museum is preserving and protecting outside of our regular exhibitions.

Hidden in the collection of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a very interesting piece from the George Fischer Collection.

Snake Bite Kit

Mr. Fischer, a professor at Florida State University, was a pioneer in the field of American Underwater Archaeology. He has worked for the National Park Service, and helped with many archaeological projects here in St. Augustine.

Among the artifacts that Mr. Fischer donated was his field kit used for artifact collection. Inside of which was an emergency snake bite kit, containing: a tourniquet, antiseptic, a lancet, a syringe, two adhesive compresses, and two ammonia inhalants.

Today, snake bite kits have evolved to be much simpler, normally comprised of four main parts: a band to create pressure, antiseptic, a scalpel, and suction devices. While snake bite kits have evolved since Fischer’s kit, there is still controversy around their effectiveness. It is still highly recommended to visit the hospital immediately after to ensure proper treatment if ever bit.


Allison Struck is a junior at Flagler College studying History and International Studies with a minor in Anthropology. A native of Longwood, Fla., she is currently interning in for the Lighthouse’s Collections Department.