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, Antiques & Collecting publications, and various TV programs

John Hughes Bennett, M.D. (1812-1875)

View a book in this collection by Dr. Bennett

John Hughes Bennett, as depicted in the adjacent portraits, was considered a man of high intellect and an outstanding teacher, whose methods served as a model to other teaching institutions beyond Edinburgh. He has been described as the founder of physiology because he introduced the teaching of physiology by practical classes and number of advances in physiology in Scotland can be attributed directly to him. His obituarist wrote in the British Medical Journal, "When all the controversies with which his name is associated will have been forgotten, the important services which he rendered to practical medicine will be even more highly appreciated than they are at present."

Portrait of John Hughes Bennett

Key contributions to medicine:

Published the first case of Leukaemia (1845) "It is moreover the same conclusion which Bennett came to in the much discussed matter of priority between us when he observed a case of individual leukaemia some months before I saw my first case." Rudolf Virchow (1858) Introduced practical experimental histology and the use of the microscope for the diagnosis of disease into the scottish medical curriculum.

Opposed bloodletting and the indiscriminate use of drugs and was an important influence in changing British therapeutic practices during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Advocated the use of cod-liver oil and restorative treatments for tuberculosis and other debilitating diseases.  "John Hughes Bennett's contribution to tuberculosis were many. He was responsible for saving many patients from the rigors associated with the antiphlogistic therapeutic regimen. He recognized that tuberculosis disease could cure spontaneously. His observations and his attempts to achieve cures were to set the scene for later interventions which were also to originate in Edinburgh" A G Leitch (1995)

Emphasized the need for collaboration between medical and scientific specialties in order to advance modern medicine
". . . in the struggle between advancing science, and a routine practice, those who desire the welfare of the profession should never forget that it can only be maintained by an earnest love of truth. This is to be promoted not by vague assertion and vulgar douse but by rational investigation and sound agreement" John Hughes Bennett

John Hughes Bennett (1812-1875)

1812 31st August, born and educated in Exeter, England.

1829 Apprenticed to a surgeon in Maidstone, Kent.

1833 Enrolled at University of Edinburgh to read medicine.

1836 Elected as President of the Royal Medical Society and of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh and Vice-President of the Anatomical and Physiological Society. Published first article in London Medical Gazette On the Anatomy and Physiology of the Otic Ganglion.

1837 Graduated MD with highest honours and gold medal. Dissertation on The Physiology and Pathology of the Brain. Began 2 year's of postgraduate studies in Paris. Founder and first president of the English-speaking Medical Society in Paris.

1838-1841 Attended medical schools and hospitals in Germany.

1841 Returned to Edinburgh. Extra-academical lecturer on histology, physiology, pathology and the diagnosis of disease illustrated by the microscope. The first to teach the clinical use of the microscope systemically and the practical teaching of physiology and pathology in Britain. Published Treatise on Cod Liver Oil, reintroducing it as an important therapeutic agent.

1842 Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

1843 Appointed Pathologist and Keeper of Statistics, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Physician to the Royal Dispensary and to the Fever Hospital.

1844 Married Jessie Samuel at Kirknewton.

1845 Lecturer in medicine at University of Edinburgh Medical School. Published On the Frequent Spontaneous Cure of Pulmonary Consumption and its Treatment and Case of Hypertrophy of the Spleen and Liver in which Death took place from Suppuration of the Blood, the first recorded case of leukaemia, then known as leucocythaemia, in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal.

1846 Editor and later proprietor of the Monthly Journal of Medical Science.

1848 Elected to the chair of the Institutes of Medicine and clinical teacher of medicine as professor within the University of Edinburgh.

1851 Published On Leucocythaemia or White Cell Blood, a collection of case studies. Founder and President of the Physiological Society of Edinburgh.

1853 Published On the Pathology and Treatment of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

1855 Unsuccessful candidate for the chair of the Practice of Physic.

1856 Published Clinical Lectures on the Principles and Practice of Medicine, an authoritative textbook in 5 editions in Britain and 6 in America to 1868.

1857 Challenge to the practice of blood letting.

1858 Appointed by the Senate of Edinburgh University as their envoy to Parliament on the Universities (Scotland) Bill.

1866 Published The Restorative Treatment of Pneumonia which had the rare distinction of being translated and published in Japan.

1869 Supported the admission of women medical students in Edinburgh.

From: The University of Edinburgh - Leukaemia Research Fund
John Hughes Bennett Laboratory

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


Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols



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.


 Arbittier Museum of Medical History Tour:   1 | 2 | 3


Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016