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

A  Comparison of 1850's and 1860's Gemrig Surgical Set

By Dr. Michael Echols

Comparing similar sets which are close in age can be a very learning experience.  Examining these two sets which were made on either side of the Civil War is very interesting to see the similarities and differences.

The knives are about the same size and design in both eras, however the handles are heavier on the earlier 1850's set and thinner on the later 1860's set.  

The 1860's capital and metacarpal saws are smaller in size than the earlier versions from the late 1850's.  

Note the variation in the tourniquets, the earlier type has a heavy brass frame buckle, the later one does not have that feature.  The bone forceps are very different as are the blades and handles of the capital saws.

See an 1866 Gemrig catalog with diagrams of instruments.

Links to additional photos 1860's set   1850's set

1860's Gemrig

 1850's Gemrig

1860's Gemrig

lift out tray

mvc-233s.jpg (33709 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

lift out tray

1860's Gemrig 

16 1/4 x 6 3/4 x 3 1/8

mvc-234s.jpg (19305 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

16 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 3

1860's Gemrig 

knife handle is lighter and thinner

mvc-240s.jpg (16563 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

knife handle is heavier and thicker

1860's Gemrig 

metacarpal saw is smaller

mvc-241s.jpg (18653 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

metacarpal saw is larger

1860's Gemrig 

capital saw is smaller 

mvc-237s.jpg (29901 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

capital saw is larger with slots

1860's Gemrig 

later smoother handle design

mvc-238s.jpg (24106 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

earlier more ornate 'English' style design

1860's Gemrig

tourniquet with no brass buckle blued prongs

mvc-235s.jpg (29915 bytes)

1850's Gemrig 

tourniquet with brass buckle brass prongs

1860's Gemrig

later and larger Liston style bone forceps

mvc-239s.jpg (22382 bytes)

1850's Gemrig

earlier and smaller Satterlee's bone forceps

 

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques