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

 

Franklin Nickerson, M.D. 

U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Application

 

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

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)

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: Franklin Nickerson, M.D. 

                                                             

                                                   

Charlestown, Mass.

Nov. 18, 1863.

   

Dr. Ruschenberger,

                               

Dear Sir;

                                                  

My history is as follows; I was born in Hingham, Massachusetts on the eighth of September, in the year eighteen hundred and thirty-eight, passed through the town school and  academy of my native place, was fitted for college by private tutor, entered Harvard college in September of the year eighteen hundred and fifty-six, graduated in the year eighteen hundred and sixty, and, immediately after graduation, commenced the study of medicine at the Harvard Medical School from which institution I took my degree of M.D. at the regular University Commencement in July last.  During last winter I attended lectures at the Belleview Hospital College in New York City.  My opportunities for actual practice in medicine and surgery have been limited, but the practice which I have had, has been confined chiefly to that of the physician.

                                                

Very Respectfully,

Your Obedient Servant,

Franklin Nickerson,

Hingham, Mass.

                                                                                


Questions by the Board:

 

Dr. Franklin Nickerson is requested to write answers to the following questions.

                     1  Name the officinal preparations of sodium, and state the use and dose of each.

                     2.  What substances are formed by the chemical union of oxygen and sulphur?

                      3.  From what vessels does the liver received blood?

                      4.  What are the diagnostic symptoms of colic?

                      5.  What are the indications of treatment of scalds with separation of the cuticle?

                      6.  What parts enter into the composition of the knee joint?

 


Answers by Nickerson:

 

1.  There is the (1) chloride of Sodium, Na.Cl or common salt (2) Sulphate of Soda Na O SO3 (3) Carbonate of Soda, NaO, CO2.  (1) may be given as a haemastatic in the dose of two or three teaspoonfuls and may be combined with other cooling substances as a refrigerant.  It has been taken for example, in haemoptysis.  (2) is the old Glauber Salt and has been superseded by the Sulphate of Magnesia.  It is used as a Cathartic in the dose of an ounce, as a laxative in the dose of two or three drachms but it is not so effective as Epsom Salts and is not now much used. (3) is an excellent antacid, acting as follows, it’s [sic] base Soda combining with the acids of the stomach and its acid the Carbonic, being liberated.  It may be given in the dose of a teaspoonful.  Some dyspeptic people always carry their Soda-bottle with them to be used after eating.  Carbonate of Soda is also an ingredient in “Seidlitz powder.”

 

2.  Sulphurous acid SO2 and Sulphuric acid SO3

 

3.  From the hepatic artery and portal vein.

 

4.  Obstinate Constipation sometimes a mounting to obstipation.  Sharp pains in the abdomen, relieved by pressure as a general rule, but causing the patient to toss about violently.  If there is biliary disorder connected with it jaundice, i.e. yellowness of the body is an accompaniment.

 

5.  Some advise glycerine or gum arabic and molasses, the object being to exclude the air.

 

6.  The anterior and posterior crucial ligaments, synovial membrane, lateral ligaments, two or three bursae + the tendons of the rectus femoris vastus externus and internus, which connected with the patella, femur + tibia form the knee joint.

 

Franklin Nickerson

Navy Yard, Boston

Nov. 13, 1863.

 


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