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

Comparison of a late 1850's to an 1861 G. Tiemann surgical set

 By Dr. Michael Echols

(Note: these sets are not a part of  this collection, but have been presented for educational purposes)

Information and a disclaimer (below) on this page updated 10/28/2007

Comparative Anatomy:  Later 1850's and 1861 versions of sets by George Tiemann.  The 1861 set was civilian issue, most likely

produced in the early days of the Civil War, prior to those produced for the military versions for the Medical or Hospital Department.

The instruments and case are marked "G. Tiemann,  63 Chatham St"  New-York, which would date the manufacture of these sets

 between 1855 to 1864.  (Tiemann Catalog).  Edmonson's book shows:

George Tiemann & Co. (George Tiemann, Frederick A. Stohlmann, and Edward Pfarre) surgical instruments

 1855-63/64: 63 Chatham and 44 Eldridge

 1863/64-71: 67 Chatham and 44 Eldridge

Of note: the two major amputation knife blades in the earlier set are the curved downward style and unusually thin in width compared

 to those in the Tiemann c. 1850 ivory set shown on this site or in the post 1860s.   The curved blades would indicate an earlier 1850's date.  But, the small capital saw, which does not have the vertical blade slots like an 1850 vintage saw, points to post 1850.  The label address would limit the date to a pre-1855 time frame.  So, a manufacture date would most likely be in 1850-1855 for the earlier set. 


The shape of the amputation knives in the later set points to the 1860's date, with the same capital saw style, so most likely early 1861.


Another point of interest about the blades of the amputation knives is they look almost exactly like those in a Reinhardt set in the Waring Historical Library in Charleston, SC.  That set is in Edmonson's book, page 294, fig. 250.  I examined this set  personally and the knives  are also thin and have the reverse curve just like this earlier Tiemann set.  Is it possible Tiemann made the instruments for Reinhardt?  Tiemann is known to have provided material for other lesser known makers.

c. 1855 Tiemann set

Click on any photo to enlarge

The external case is very much like the style of the 1850 ivory case.   Note the brass bands not found on the later set below.



Note in the above right photo, the downward curve of the lower two amputation blades, which is the earlier style.  Also, note the very delicate, thin blade width of the lower two blades.    



Note the different ferrules of the amputation knives.  The top one is later, the lower two are early and normal for an 1960 set, but all three seem to fit exactly in the slots. 


Note the similarities with the earlier 1850 saw from the 1850 ivory Tiemann set.


The tourniquet has the original cloth strap and pad.

There are two sizes of trephines in the earlier set, with the early style crowns.

mvc-262s.jpg (36864 bytes)   mvc-263s.jpg (55918 bytes)

The company mark is 'G Tiemann', on the saw, instruments marked this way were made between 1833 - 1855. ( P. 64 Tiemann Catalog)

Now compare this set to an 1864 surgical set by Tiemann  as well as the extensive set below, which was produced at the start of the Civil War.

c. 1861 Tiemann set

Click on any photo to enlarge

The following is a much more extensive set  c. 1860-61, most likely made during the early days of the Civil War given the presence of war-time instruments such as male sounds and bullet forceps.  The key to the dating is again the 63 Chatham address and the presence of the unique capital saw with the distinctive handle, the bullet forceps, male sounds, as well at the variations in the knife blades. 


Note the civilian style case as opposed to a military case with sliding latches.  The brass cartouche is not marked

The address for Tieman is the 63 Chatham location, consistent with pre-War and War time



There are only two male sounds in this set as opposed to a full set of sounds and catheters usually found in military sets.





Among the instruments is a fleam marked 'Snowden', and Tiemann curved esophageal and bullet forceps


The tourniquet strap is not original, but appears to be a replacement made of leather rather than cloth

Note the amputation blades are no longer thin and curved, but straight, and more typical of later Civil War era design.


Note the pre-Civil War style trephine crown (non-Galt) and only one size.

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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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016