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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Joseph Toynbee, M.D.

View the book in this collection by Dr. Toynbee

We regret to have to record the death of Mr Joseph Toynbee, the distinguished aural surgeon, which took place at his house in Savile Row, London, on Saturday the 8th July, under very melancholy circumstances. Mr Toynbee, it appeared, had been engaged in an experimental inquiry on the effects of chloroform and other substances, in tinnitus aurium, when injected into the cavity of the tympanum.


Mr Toynbee was last seen alive by his man-servant on Saturday afternoon about four o'clock. Shortly afterwards, on coming into the room, he found his master lying on a couch, wilh a piece of cotton-wool over his mouth and nose. He spoke to him, but, receiving no answer, removed the cotton-wool; and, being alarmed at his master's appearance, ran for assistance. Dr Markhatn arrived almost immediately, but found Mr Toynbee perfectly dead. There was a smell of chloroform in the room, and the cottonwool smelled strongly of chloroform. Close to the hand of the deceased were two bottles, which had been procured from a chemist's that afternoon. One contained rectified ether, and had not been opened; the other was rather more than half-full of hydrocyanic acid. Underneath the head of the dead man was a six-ounce bottle which had contained chloroform, but was completely empty. There was no smell of hydrocyanic acid, but the odour of that substance, it is well known, disappears very rapidly.


A letter was produced, written by the deceased on the 6th instant, in which was expressed an opinion that, by Clover's apparatus for inhaling, the vapour of hydrocyanic acid could be safely applied to the tympanum. The vapor was inhaled to the back of the throat, and, by holding the mouth and nostrils, was forced into the cavities of the ears, thus removing the singing and other nervous sensibility. An inquest was held upon the body, when the above and various other facts were stated in evidence. The verdict of the jury was, " That the deceased met with his death accidentally, while prosecuting his experiments, by inhaling a combination of chloroform and prussic acid; and the jury desire to express their deep sympathy with the family of the unfortunate deceased gentleman."

(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

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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