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

c. 1866 J. H. Gemrig Military Surgical Set

U. S. Army Medical Department

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.  His company was located at 48 N. 6th from 1841 to 1844, at S. 8th in 1845, 43 S, 8th from 1846 to 1865, and 109 S. 8th from 1866 to 1880. All dates are from the Directory of Makers and Dealers as listed by Edmonson in American Surgical Instruments: an Illustrated History

A telling feature of this set is the presence of two lateral sliding latches and no provision for a key,  which are indicative of a military set.  Unfortunately the brass plate is missing which would have been marked USA Medical Department, but the presence of the bullet forceps and other surgical instruments clearly indicate military use.  

This type of set was also made for the U. S. Army Medical Department after the War.  The 109 8th St. address on the maker label would be concurrent with the address of Gemrig immediately after the Civil War.

The mahogany case measures 16 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 4 inches.  Special instruments in this case are the gullet forceps, bullet forceps, chain saw, and curved trocar.

See an 1866 Gemrig catalog with diagrams and descriptions of instruments

Click on any photo to enlarge

109 S. 8th address was from 1866 to 1880

 

Note the later plain style of unchecked handles on the hand instruments

 

 

 

Wanted: Military surgical kits like this by Gemrig, Phila.

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American Surgical Sets:

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques