Obstetrical History: Labor induction, Part 3
By 1855, a more acceptable method of initiating labor was developed, the sponge tent. Sponge Tents in Cervix had been proposed by Brunninghausen 1820, but abandoned until later. Introduced into the cervix, these sponges, which were available in several sizes, were kept wet by introducing water into the vagina. Larger sponges were inserted as dilatation of the cervix proceeded, stretching open the cervical os according to Simpson in 1855.
Interest in improving the techniques of induction has never waned and Scholler tried a vaginal tampon in the mid 1800s, and around the same time Dr. Kiwisch developed an injection stream of tepid water into the vagina and against the cervix so that the water entering the os would separate the surface of the fetal membranes from the uterine wall. This method usually required nine of these hot water vaginal douch applications, and labor commenced in five to six days. The procedure was a disatrous failure for many reasons and was soon abandoned because of associated maternal mortality caused by uterine rupture. Not to be detered the famous Dr. Scanzoni, who's name is still on the Scanzoni maneuver tried to improve the hot douches by making them out of a carobolic acid solution! This did not work any better and was also abandoned rapidly.
Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes; A History of Induction; 1978).