American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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American Civil War Surgical Antiques

Research and Identification

Civil War Era Surgical Sets, Surgeon's Images

Civil War Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

Established 1995    .     Dr. Michael Echols Collection


As seen in:  Warman's Civil War Collectibles, Antique Week, Northeast Antiques, and various TV programs, Antiques & Collecting publications

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. 

Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

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Civil War Medical Collections 


Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site                         

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865
Medical Lecture Cards: 1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

Medical Faculty and Authors:


Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

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Please note: information on this site may not be normally referenced as this is an active and long-term educational research project.  Personal notes may not be properly cited for publication.  Various articles are digitally reproduced under the 'fair-use act' of the copyright laws and are intended for educational purposes only.  Many citations are from Google digital 'books' and can be traced backwards via a search of a unique string in the citation.


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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016