Shepard and Dudley Instruments, New York
This maker did not make amputation sets during or before the Civil War. They bought out instrument maker William Ford in 1870. Ford, however, did make instruments during the War, but sets labeled for Shepard and Dudley are NOT Civil War era.
By Dr. Michael Echols
Unfortunately a well-known Civil War medical and surgical instrument book shows a photo of a fairly common post-1870 Shepard and Dudley amputation set and dates it to having been made during the Civil War. (Note: the author of the previously mentioned book bought the set and published his book prior to the knowledge being published by Edmonson about Shepard and Dudley in the late 1990's Unfortunately the author as chosen to not correct his mistake in the book after the contrary evidence was surfaced. This collector mistakenly bought one too.)
Shepard and Dudley were not in the surgical instrument business until 1870 when they purchased a surgical instrument company from William F. Ford. During the Civil War, Shepard, owned a business called 'Rubber Clothing Co.' Dudley was not even a part of this rubber goods company. Shepard and Dudley joined forces to buy out Ford in 1870 and then were known as 'Shepard and Dudley' Surgical Instruments. They were importing surgical instruments from Europe and 'putting up' sets under the name of Shepard and Dudley while located at 150 William St. in New York.
In 1870, Shepard & Dudley listed themselves as "sole agents for W. F Ford, instrument maker to New York City, Bellevue, and New York State Woman's Hospitals." see The Medical Register of New York and Vicinity. . . (1870), 22. (Full text available via Google Books for proof.)
Information above and below was taken from Dr. Edmonson's, American Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated History, published by J. Norman Publishing. Edmonson's full text and data is available via Google Books, where you can read the entire history of Shepard and Dudley on-line:
"Rubber Clothing Co. [also listed as F. M & W. A. Shepard in advertisements] (Frederick M. & William A. Shepard) (Note: Edmonson says they were not in the instrument business at this time, during 1860 to 70 the Shepards made rubber goods, syringes, and this point is backed up by multiple documents from the New York, business records of the time.)
Shepard and Dudly Surgical Instruments: 1860-70: 347 Broadway & 150 William, N.Y.
See additional information and research relative to Shepard and Dudley on this site
Dates when Shepard and Dudley were in operation as surgical instrument makers:
Shepard & Dudley (Frederick M. Shepard and Francis D. Dudley) surgical instruments
1870-75: 150 William, N.Y.
1876-77: 150 William and 33 Gold, N.Y.
1878-94: 150 William, N.Y.
"Following the Civil War, the partnership of Wade and Ford was dissolved. In March 1866 Wade sold his share of the business to William F. Ford. Ford operated the business at the 85 Fulton Street address until 1870. Ford then sold the business to Shepard and Dudley in 1870, who began business at 150 William Street." (Edmonson, page 82). This information is backed up by medical society and other business documents in New York during the 1870's, which you can easily access on Google books under Ford, Shepard, Dudley.
Below is an example of the surgical set most often mistakenly cited for having been produced during the Civil War based on information prior to the research published by Edmonson in the 1990's. As I mentioned above, I too mistakenly bought the Shepard and Dudley set below ( for $7,500 ) which turned out to have been made in the 1870's. Knowledge talks and B.S. walks! Know before you go.
See additional photos of this set
This set above has none of the attributes usually associated with a military set and the fact that it is is labeled with the Shepard and Dudley, 150 William St. address trade label means it did not exist during the Civil War.
Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols
Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016