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

 

Eugene Patterson Robbins, 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:  Eugene Patterson Robbins, M.D.

 

Charlestown Mar. 3rd. '63.

   

Sir

 

I was born in Boston, Mass. Oct. 21st. A.D. 1841.  I was educated at a public school – the Mayhew, and afterward spent five years at the public Latin school in Bedford Ct.  Owing to ill health, I was then at the age of sixteen, taken from my studies, and went to Vermont, where I staid [sic] for one year.  I commenced the study of medicine in September 1859.  My preceptor was Dr. Wm E Townsend, until the spring of 1862, when I entered Harvard Medical SchoolI have attended the winter lectures at Harvard, since first becoming a Medical Student.  I expect a graduate at the coming commencement March 11th.

    

Last summer for four weeks I was ward master on aboard the Sanitary Commission Steamship Dan Webster.  During the months of December and January I acted as Medical Cadet at the hospital at fort Independence.  (My service been voluntary.)    

 

Very Respectfully,

Eugene P. Robbins

 

To: Dr. Rushenberger, Surgeon U.S.N.

 


Questions by the Board:

 

Dr. Eugene P. Robbins is requested to write answers to the following questions

                   1.  By what signs and symptoms is acute bronchitis distinguished from pneumonia in the first stage?

                   2.  What is chyle, when and how was it formed?

                   3.  What is the origin, course and distribution of the femoral artery?

                   4.  What are the physical properties of oxygen, and how may it be obtained in a separate state?

                   5.  Name the officinal preparations of opium with the dose of each?

                   6.  Define the term “specific gravity”, “latent heat”, “temperature”, and “centre of gravity”?

 


Answers by Robbins:

 

1.  The constitutional symptoms are more severe, In Pneumonia.  The pulse is not so full and strong in Bronchitis.  Also, the physical signs of bronchitis, the crepitant rales, and dullness, oftener affect both sides of the chest at once.  The Expectoration is more abundant in Bronchitis, and blood if present, appears in streaks, and not diffused.

                   

2.  Chyle is a whitish fluid, which is formed by the action of the intestinal fluids juices on the food, after it has passed into the small intestine.  The food, after having been changed into chyle, is ready to be taken ["by it." squeezed in below last line on page] up by the lacteals.

                   

3.  The Femoral artery arises from the External Iliac, and passes down the thigh at its inner side, following nearly the border of the sartorius muscle.  Its most superficial course, is the siteration [sic] of Scarpa’s triangle.  It becomes the popliteal, at the bend of the leg.  In it’s course it sends of [sic] branches to the muscles of the thigh, also one of the abdominal walls.

                  

4.  Oxygen is a colorless gas, the best supporter of combustion known, it is obtained from black oxide of manganese by heating.  It is a constituent – the principle of the atmosphere, and enters largely into the composition of water.

                 

5.  Solid opium gr.j.  Tincture of opium gtts x to xx  Camphorated Tincture gtts xv-xxx     Ipecac and opium (Dovers powder) gr.x – Morphia (usually employed in the form of one of its salts) gr 1/12 – 1/6   Narcotina (rarely use) gr 1/10

                   

6.  Specific gravity signifies the relative weight of a substance as compared with some fixed standard.  Usually ascertained by the method of displacement.

Latent heat signifies the caloric producing power of any substance.

      

Temperature, signifies the relative dryness and moisture is only given the atmosphere.

      

The centre of gravity signifies, the point of attraction to which molecular matter hands.

 

Eugene P. Robbins.

Charlestown, March 3rd 1863.

 

[Board comment in pencil]:  Sprightly with good foundation


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