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

J. H. Gemrig Minor Surgical Set c. 1860

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 143 N. 6th from 1840 to 1844, at 48 N. 6th from 1841 to 1844, at S. 8th from 1845 to 1880. 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 civilian set existed during the Civil War.  What makes it special, besides being an ivory set, is the presence of a bullet forceps.  Usually only military sets have bullet forceps, but they are present in this early 1860's civilian set.

The brass bound set  case measures (13 x 6 x 3 inches).   The handles of the saw and knives are made of real ivory. 

Missing is the two piece gullet forceps which would have been taken-a-part and positioned in the raised block on the left side of the lower part of the case.  Also missing are a pair of scissors,  a small forceps, and a very small trocar.

All instruments which are marked are marked: Gemrig  There are no substitutions.

 

 

Compare the Gemrig set above to a Hernstein variation (below) made for the U. S. A. Hospital Department during the Civil War

  

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American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

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Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865

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

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques