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 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

2011 - "The sesqui-centennial of the Civil War" -  2015

The 150th Year Celebration

 

 Home page  |   Feedback & Contact Dr. Echols  |  SEARCH this site   |  Article Indexes   |   Medical Faculty & Authors

 Civil War Medical Books  |  Medicine Containers   |   1800's & Civil War Surgery Set Displays

Medical College Index - Lecture Cards  |  Civil War Medical Book Author-Title Index

Wanted to Purchase: Items like those on this website, including Civil War surgeon uniforms, medical books, CDV's, surgeon images, diaries, and related medical items ... Contact

Dr. Echols' partial list of Google books for Civil War Surgeon Research

 

Edward P. Colby, M.D.

U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Application

 

By Norman L. Herman, M.D., PhD.

The following is a dictated translation of the hand-written application to the U. S. Navy Examination Board during the Civil War by a civilian physician/surgeon for a position as a medical officer in the Federal Navy or for promotion to Assistant Surgeon by an Acting Assistant Surgeon.  The actual applications are in the possession of the author and presented to enlighten the general public and other researchers as to the education process before and during the Civil War, the personal history of the applicants, as well as to show their personal level of medical knowledge in answering the questions asked by the Navy Board of Examiners.  (Some applicants failed to pass and did not serve or served in the Union Army.)

This written presentation was first of a part of a two-part exam consisting of a written exam and an oral exam.   Many of these applications are rich with highly detailed medical content offering an interesting perspective on the medical knowledge and practices of the period.  A broad sampling of these exams is presented to give you a 'picture' of the type of applicant being examined and admitted to or rejected by the Federal Navy in 1863.   Much more detail on the individuals and their personal and naval history will be presented in a forth-coming book by Dr. Herman.

(The actual written exam photos are available, but not presented on these pages due to the size of the files.  An example of a hand-written exam is on the List of all Applicants page)

(The actual written exam photos are available, but not presented on these pages due to the size of the files.  An example is on the List of all applicants page)

If you have additional information or images for any of these doctors, please contact us.

A list with links to all applicants in this survey of U.S. Navy Applicants for 1863

Example of a handwritten exam given by the Navy Examination Board


Applicant: Edward P. Colby, M.D.

 

Surgeon WSW Ruchenberger.

                                              

Dear Sir

                     

I was born the city of Cincinnati Hamilton County Ohio on March 4th AD 1839.   Received my education in various places where my family and myself have resided, being an Claremont N.H. Concord N.H. Boston mass epiglottis Mass. and Brooklyn N.Y.

 

My medical preceptor was A. Morrill MD of Concord N.H. where my medical education was mostly received.

I am a graduate of Long Island College Hospital at Brooklyn N.Y. of the class of July 1861

    

I was occupied some five in the drug business [sic] during which time I was constantly thrown in in [sic] contact with different members of the medical profession from where I received continual instruction.

          

I have been engaged in the practice of medicine for some eighteen months past

            

With respect I remain Dear Sir

Your Obt Servt   

Edward P. Colby MD.

Charlestown Navy Yard

April 1st 1863

 


(Additional, less formal biographical sketch found after above sketch, filed upside down and backwards)

 

Born March 4 AD 1839. In Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio.

Educated partly in Claremont Sullivan County New Hampshire and partly in Concord Merrimack County New Hampshire Medical preceptor Dr. Mernie [?] of Concord N.H.

Graduated at Long Island College Hospital at Brooklyn New York.

I was engaged in the wholesale and retail drug business during some five years of my life during which time was receiving constant instruction from various members of the medical profession.

Very respectfully

Edward P. Colby

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Dr. Edward P. Colby is requested to write answers to the following questions.

1.  What is the origin distribution of the femoral artery?

2.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of typhoid fever?

3.  What changes are produced in atmospheric air by respiration?

4.  Name some of the best narcotics and antispasmodics?  [Sic]

5.  What are the physical properties of chlorine, and how was it obtained in a separate state?

6.  Define the terms, “specific gravity”, “temperature,” and “latent heat”?

 


Answers by Colby:

 

1.  The femoral artery arises at “pouparts [sic] ligament is a continuation of the external iliac.  Following a winding course around the thigh it pierces the tendon of the adductor magnus and becomes the popliteal.   The guide to the artery in case of an operation is the sartorius muscle.

   

The first branch given off is the superficial epigastric distributed on the external covering of the lower abdomen.

Another branches the circumflex iliac distributed on the muscles and coverings of the head and external thigh

Another branches the profunda which distributed by its branches to the deep seated muscles of the femur and hip joint

The next branch is the great anastamosing artery which anastamoses with branches from above and below.

 

2.  The diagnostic symptoms of typhoid fever are pain in the head, sometimes loss of a reason generally wandering, noises in the ears, diarrhoea sometimes accompanied with bloody discharges, pain and soreness in the inguinal region as if from hernia or incarcerated flatulence, and rose spots on the abdomen.

 

3.  By respiration oxygen of the atmosphere is combined with carbon forming carbonic Acid CO2 [sic], and at the same time is changed with moisture and some organic matter.

 

4.  Some of the best narcotics and antispasmodics are Opium, Hyasciamus [sic], Tobacco and Cannabis Indica.

 

5.  Chlorine is a heavy gas of a yellowish green color incapable of supporting animal or vegetable life.  It has the property of discharging permanently all the vegetable colors by being placed in contact with them.  It is quite soluble in water and unites readily with oxygen hydrogen and many of the metals forming Acids and chlorides.  Chlorine may be obtained in a separate state by heating common salt or chloride of sodium (NaO) in contact with sulphuric acid (SO3HO) and conveying the fumes to a proper receptacle where the free chlorine may be collected by displacement of common error or mercury but the solvent powers of water are such that it should not be employed as a reservoir.

 

6.  Specific Gravity means when applied to solids the relative weight of any body in the air with the barometer at 30 in and the weight of the same body in pure water.

When applied to liquids Alcohol usually is the medium for ascertaining the relation it bears to water.

With gas is the atmosphere at 30 inches of the barometer standard.

By Temperature is meant the heat or coldness of any thing and is usually made manifest by either the sensibility of the human system or by the expansion and contraction of the thing affected.

By Latent Heat is meant the amount of heat any body absorbs in being converted from the gaseous to a liquid or solid body.

 

April 1st 1863                            

Edward P. Colby  M.D.

 

[Board comment in pencil: much better in surgery than in practice]


A list with links to all applicants in this survey of U.S. Navy Applicants for 1863

Example of a handwritten exam given by the Navy Examination Board

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:

INDEX

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

Please request permission before commercial use or publication of any content or photos on this site and credit any use with:  "American Civil War Surgical Antiques"   All content and all original photography on this Web Site is copyrighted 1995 - 2015 and may not be used on any other web site or in commercial print without the expressed e-mail permission from Dr. Arbittier:  Contact   All rights reserved. 

 

Students doing reports or projects are welcome to use the content of this site without permission, but credits would be appreciated.

 

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