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 Surgical Set Makers During the Civil War

Labels used by surgical instrument makers during the Civil War 1861-65

By Dr. Michael Echols

(The following are the personal edited research notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or may not be completely documented)

Listed below are the known (major) and minor American instrument makers who contracted with the U.S. Army Medical or Hospital Department to supply cased surgical instruments, post-mortem sets, pocket surgery kits, minor surgical cases.  See a list  of the various specifications for contracted sets as revised by the Surgeon General's Office after 1862.  The addresses are the key to telling if the maker label or any address was active during the Civil War. 

Article on three sources of Civil War military surgical sets

It is critical to understand the importance of the addresses in relation to 'when' a given instrument or set was made.  To ignore this information is to deceive yourself.  (Please note: Not all the maker labels below represent the Civil War period, some are pre- and some are post- to bring to your attention that just because you see the name, you have to pay attention to the address to pin-point the correct date.)

Links to Civil War maker information, addresses, and dates

Martin Kuemerle (minor)
Louis V. Helmold (minor)
D. W. Kolbe (minor)
Snowden & Bro. (major)
Jacob H. Gemrig (major)
Hermann Hernstein & Son (major)
George Tiemann & Co. (major)
Horatio G. Kern (minor)

A. H. Wirz (minor

Otto & Reynders (minor)
Max Wocher (minor)
William Z. Rees (minor)
V. W. Brinkerhoff  (minor)
Wade & Ford (minor)
Codman & Shurtleff (minor)
Jacob J. Teufel (minor)
Frederick C. Leypoldt (minor)

Julian Tiencken (minor)

(Reference for all maker information: Edmonson's: An Illustrated History of American Instrument Makers)

Instrument Maker Civil War addresses

Instrument Maker Labels

George Tiemann & Co.

1855-63/64: 63 Chatham and 44 Eldridge

1863/64-71: 67 Chatham and 44 Eldridge


All Tiemann Labels: pre & post-Civil War

Tiemann (major Civil War maker)


Civil War Labels

Hermann Hernstein & Son (Hermann and Albert L. Hernstein)


1855-57: 81 Duane and 393 Broadway

1858: 81 Duane, 131 Mercer, and 393 Broadway


H. Hernstein

1859-61: 131 Mercer and 393 Broadway


Hernstein & Son

1862-65: 131 Mercer and 393 Broadway 


Hernstein & Son (major Civil War maker)


Civil War Labels


Early Civil War

Jacob H. Gemrig surgical instrument maker


1841-44: 48 N. 6th

1845: 49 S. 8th

1846-65: 43 S. 8th

1866-80: 109 S. 8th


Gemrig (major Civil War maker)

(Need 43 S, 8th example)


Post-Civil War Labels


Horatio G. Kern surgical instrument maker


1837: Filbert St. bel. 8th

1838-42: 7 N. 8th

1843-48: 5 N. 8th

1849-59: 293 High

1860-70: 25 N. 6th

1871-89: 21 N. 6th (joined by Horatio G. Kern, Jr., in 1876; Horatio G. Kern, Sr., dies in 1889)

18900-92: 122 S. 12th surgical instruments

1893: 1407 Chestnut

Kern (minor Civil War maker)

Civil War Label

Snowden & Bro. (George P. [1832-?] and Henry C. [1838-?] Snowden surgical instrument makers


1858-64: 15 N. 5th.


Snowden & Bro. (major Civil War maker)


Civil War Label


Post-Civil War Label

D. W. Kolbe (Dietrich W. Kolbe) is Civil War; 


D.W. Kolbe & Son is post-Civil War


Chas. W. Kolbe is post-Civil War


1856-57: 45 S. 8th

1858: III S. 8th

1859-66: 32 S. 9th

1867-78: 15 S. 9th

Kolbe (major Civil War maker)

 Civil War Label

Post-Civil War Labels

Louis V. Helmold cutler


1851: 7 Assembly Bldg.

1852: 10th and Walnut

1853-54: 49 S. 10th surgical instrument maker

1855-57: 45 S. 10th

1858-70: 135 S. 10th

1871-1897: 127 S. 10th



Post-Civil War Label


(Need example of 135 S. 10th label

Martin Kuemerle (various spellings of the name: Kuennerle after 1855. then Kuemerle consistently after 1860; partner of Dietrich W. Kolbe; succeeded by his son-in-law, August H. Wirz, in 1861 or 1862)


1838-43: 2 N. lI th

1844-59: 45 S. 8th

1860: III S 8th



Kuemerle & Kolbe

(Need an example of 111 S. 8th label)

   Frederick C. Leypoldt

1860-61: 508 North

1863-96: 243 N. 5th



(Need an example of 508 North or 243 N. 5th label)

   Jacob J. Teufel

1857: 37 S. 8th

1858-59: 39 S. 8th

1860-82: 103 S. 8th surgical instruments (in association with bro., George W. Teufel after 1879)



Civil War & Post-War

Post-Civil War


Codman & Shurtleff


1858-71: 13 Tremont

1872-94: 13 and 15 Tremont

1896-1900: 13 and 15 Tremont


Codman and Shurtleff

Civil War Labels

Wade & Ford (George Wade and William E Ford)


1860-66: 85 Fulton

Wade & Ford

mvc-344s.jpg (55995 bytes)

Civil War Label

V. W. Brinkerhoff, (a.k.a. Brinckerhoff) (Vanwyck Brinkerhoff)


1856: 12 Gold

1857: 88 John

1858-59: 88 John and 25 Gold

1860-62: 88 William instruments

1863-68: 131 William fancy goods and drugs

Brinkerhoff / Brinckerhoff

Pre-Civil War


2nd Half Civil War

131 William

William Z. Rees surgical and dental instrument maker


1842: Walnut, near 5th

1846: E. Walnut, btw. 5th and 6th

1848: 6th, opp. Mayor's Office

1850: 6th btw. Main and Walnut

1851: 30 W. 6th

1853-70: 71 W. 6th dental instruments (1863) surgical instrument manufacturer (1864) surgical instruments (1865)



Pre-Civil War


(Need example of 71 W. 6th label)

Max (Maximilian) Wocher surgical instrument maker


1840: E. S. Walnut btw. 4th and 5th

1842-52: College cor. George and Plum

1853: II College

1855: 6th btw. Vine and Race

1856-1869: 105 W 6th (surgical and dental instrument maker (1861) surgical and dental instrument manufacturer (1863)


Wocher & Son is post-Civil War era


Pre-Civil War (1855)


Need Civil War years label


Post-Civil War: Wocher & Son

Post-Civil War Wocher & Son

Otto & Reynders (Ferdinand G. Otto and John Reynders)


1860-64: 58 Chatham

1864-75: 64 Chatham



Civil War label

Otto post-Civil War label


Shepard & Dudley

This maker is posted to clear up confusion about when they were instrument makers, which was NOT during the Civil War.  During the Civil War, they were listed as makers of 'rubber goods', see additional research about Shepard and Dudley were NOT surgical instrument makers during the Civil War.

Rubber Clothing Co.;

Shepard & Dudley, 1860-1894

Rubber Clothing Co. [also listed as F. M & W A. Shepard in advertisements] (Frederick M. & William A. Shepard)

1860-70: 347 Broadway & 150 William


Shepard & Dudley (Frederick M. Shepard and Francis D. Dudley) surgical instruments

1870-75: 150 William

1876-77: 150 William and 33 Gold

1878-94: 150 William

'Shepard & Dudley' was

NOT a Civil War maker


Post-Civil War label


The following citation is from an 1856 publication which listed various 'manufacturers in America':


The best cutlers have always been Philadelphia houses:


THOMAS SNOWDEN late WIEGAND & SNOWDEN  No 15 North Fifth street Philadelphia and 13 Commerce street is the most extensive manufacturer of Surgical Instruments Elastic Trusses and Syringes in the United States.  Established for more than thirty years and consequently now among the very oldest business houses in Philadelphia his trade extends to all the leading dealers in drugs in the Union.  The quality of the articles made and sold by this house is unsurpassed. 


HORATIO G KERN 293 Market street Philadelphia is the next most extensive manufacturer of Surgical and Dental Instruments in the United States.  Mr Kern has long given a prominent share of his attention to the manufacture of improved Dental Instruments and the excellence of the instruments made by him as well as the completeness of his assortment is acknowledged wherever known He has an instrument for every tooth in the head and can furnish dental cases at prices varying from 50 to $500.  This house has been established for upwards of twenty years and possesses facilities for supplying druggists as well as dentists with all articles that come within the limits of the trade.


J. H. GEMRIG 43 South 8th street manufactures Surgical Instruments which are very favorably spoken of and highly esteemed by the best surgeons in the country but as he confines his manufacture to sales at retail or to order hia trade is necessarily limited in extent in comparison with the other houses above referred to The greater part of the instruments used in Jefferson College the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital are made by him and the esteem in which his workmanship is held by Professors Pancoast Mutter and others of distinction is evidenced by their frequent complimentary allusions to it in their lectures to students Into addition to Surgical Instruments Mr Gemrig manufactures Dental Instruments Elastic Trusses and bandages of every description.


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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