My grandmother had her own syringe kit and was responsible for cleaning and sharpening the needle. Glass syringe, steel needle.
She had a cape as part of her uniform! Red and black wool. In her day, pneumonia was a dx the nurses could make just based on how a pt sounded. When she was elderly and broke her hip, she insisted to her nurses that her roommate had pneumonia and they just brushed her off. Then the roommate's sats tanked and they sent her for cxr. Sure enough. She was working when penicillin first came into use. She was OBSESSED with inspecting our BMs. If you flushed before she got a look, holy man, watch out.
I also have my grandfather's sphygmomanometer; it's a box about 2 feet long that opens up to a 90-degree angle, and is full of mercury. I also have his scope, which had an honest-to-god bell on it, no diaphragm. I love old medical equipment. Can you imagine doing what we do without plastic, for instance??