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. 1869 J. H. Gemrig 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.  His company was located at 43 S, 8th from 1846 to 1865. 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 particular set, which may date to a little before 1867, is an example of a style where the knives are stored on edge rather than on their sides.  The knives and saws are smaller in this set compared to those in some other Gemrig sets.  Note the massive size of bone forceps and tourniquet relative to the size of the knives and saws..

Compare this set to a similar Gemrig and note the variations.

The tourniquet is marked 'Gemrig' as are all the other instruments.  The only pieces missing are a tissue forceps and small scalpel.

This set was acquired at a flea-market in Pennsylvania twenty years ago for $40, needless to say the buyer made a good return on his investment when I acquired it from him in 2003.

See a comparison between this set and a earlier Gemrig set.

See an 1866 Gemrig catalog with diagrams of instruments.

Dimensions of mahogany case: (14.5 x 2.25 x 4.75 in.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American Surgical Sets:

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques