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

 1862-63 H. Hernstein & Son, Post-Mortem Set

U.S. Army Hospital Dept.

H. Hernstein & Son, of New York, was located at 131 and Mercer 393 Broadway, New York city, N.Y., during the Civil War, they produced and sold contract ordered surgical sets from this address during the Civil War.   Hernstein was a contract maker for this type of post-mortem set from the start and until the end of the War.  The Hernstein & Son mark verifies the set to have been made during the middle years of the War. 

The set is missing the removable partition between the upper and lower layers, one ivory handled scalpel, and a pair of scissors.  Otherwise it is in new and unused condition.  The brass plate has been removed.  It is not unusual for the brass plates to be missing on military sets as these sets were sold as surplus after the Civil War and the buyers often removed the military markings. 

The key to dating the set is Hernstein & Son only existed during the Civil War, they were selling directly to the military at that time under contract, and this set has a military latch, not seen on civilian sets.  The marking with the Civil War 393 N.Y. address is also a key factor as it is seen in most of Hernstein's military issued sets.

Hermann Hernstein surgical instruments

1843: 3 Chambers

1844: Elizabeth cor. Hester

1845-48: 7 Hague

1850: no listing

1851-52: 68 Duane

1853-54: 81 Duane

1855-57: 81 Duane and 393 Broadway

1858: 81 Duane, 131 Mercer, and 393 Broadway 1859-61: 131 Mercer and 393 Broadway (pre-War)

 

Hermann Hernstein & Son (Hermann and Albert L. Hernstein) 1862-65: 131 Mercer and 393 Broadway (Mid-war)

Hermann Hernstein & Son & Co. 1865: 2 Liberty and 393 Broadway  (Post War)

Hermann Hernstein & Co. 1866-67: 2 Liberty and 393 Broadway

 

Reference: Edmonson

Click on photos to enlarge

Military sliding latch, re-enforcing cast brass corners, missing brass name plate on lid

Dissecting forceps

 

Maker marking on top of the saw

 

Marked, lifting back bone saw

 

Bowel scissors

Costotome (hammer), Chisel, and Rachitome Chisel

Retraction chains hooks to hold tissue back and a blow-pipe (Used to inflate arteries, veins, and other tubes)

Suture needles with heavy cloth to hold needles and suture thread

 

Post-Mortem instruments in the Tiemann catalog c. 1870's

Warning: The actual instruments sold by Tiemann during the Civil War were similar to those on these pages, but may not be exactly the same.  Many are exactly the same, but you have to make allowances for sterilization considerations after 1870.

Click on image to enlarge

 


See additional information on military post-mortem sets as specified by the U.S. Army Hospital Department.

Dissecting and Post-mortem instruments from a Civil War period, 1866, instrument catalog by Gemrig

Click on images to enlarge

 

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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques