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

 Late 1860's J. H. Gemrig Resection Surgical Set

J. H. Gemrig was a surgical instrument maker in Philadelphia, Pa. during 1840 to 1881 in various forms (alone, with his brother, and with his son).  During the Civil War, Gemrig was a major supplier of surgical sets under contract to the Union forces. 

All dates are from the Directory of Makers and Dealers as listed by Edmonson in American Surgical Instruments: an Illustrated History:

Jacob H. Gemrig surgical instrument maker 1841-44: 48 N. 6th

1845: 49 S. 8th

1846-65: 43 S. 8th

1866-80: 109 S. 8th

This is a very unusual and rare civilian surgical set in that it is a mixture of instruments which would be found in a resection (exsecting) set (bone surgery), containing bone chisels and hammer, chain saw, Hey saw, heavy bone forceps, and bone drills.

Apparently the set was meant to supplement another set, such as a large capital surgery set.  The resection set is in almost new condition.  The rectangular space at the top of the case possibly contained splint material, but the space is not shaped for any particular instrument as is usual for specific instruments.   The odd shaped opening containing the chain saw obviously contained other parts, but again it is unknown what was meant to be in that irregular opening as there is no specific shaped depression to hold any particular instrument. 

The approximate date of the set is estimated to be in the late 1860's and perhaps the early 1870's as the case (double decorative brass wire banding) and style of the instruments points to that time frame.

The size of the mahogany case is: 3 x 5.5 x 16 inches and has a decorative brass inlay on the top side and a central key lock.

Click on any photo to enlarge

 

   

    

 

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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

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INDEX

Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques