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

 1861, H. Hernstein & Son, U.S. Army Hospital Dept. field set

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 contract ordered surgical sets from this address during the Civil War.   Hernstein was a contract maker for this type of field surgery sets 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.  

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

The early French influenced  design of the saw is from the 1860's.  The handle and style of the saw is after those by French maker Charriere (Edmonson, page 90)

The ivory handled minor surgery instruments are a carry over into the Civil War from the late1850's, but are not typically seen in later sets during the war when most makers used the cross-checked ebony handles.

The three layer (16 x 6 3/4 x 4 1/2 in.) mahogany case, purple lined case is typical military issue with sliding latches and no key lock.  There are no brass screws as are seen on later military sets, but the corners pieces are there for re-enforcement as is normal for military issue. 

There are three levels of the purple velvet lined case: lid with removable partition, removable tray, and the lower section for urological related instruments.   

This is a fine example of a hardcore military-issued field Civil War surgical set for the U. S. Army Hospital Department.

Click on photos to enlarge

Engraved at the factory: 'United States Army Hospital Department'

Military sliding  latches, 'U. S. Army Hospital Department' engraved

 

 

The leather carrying case is in rough shape, but it's rare to ever find one with a set

 

The Hernstein Eagle impression found on later dividers is not present at this point

Above: All three levels of the set

  

Shown  below are all the contents

Buck's rectal bladder trocar with protective cover and thread to hold the cover as a catheter

 

Heavy tissue or muscle retractors.

Tourniquet is clearly marked 'Hernstein & Son'

 

 

 

Trephine for neurosurgical trepanning

Ivory instruments are marked  both 'Hernstein' and 'Hernstein & Son'

 

Set of large amputation, catlins, and a finger or metacarpal saw

"Hernstein & Son" markings on all the knives and finger saw

 

Hollow catheters on the left and solid sounds on the fight

 

Left: silk suture material and silver wire for suturing, and on the right a chain saw

Shown  below are the contents of the upper part of the case under the partition

Sequestrium forceps

Tissue scissors

 

         Bone brush               Bandage scissors           Olive artery forceps

 

Bullet forceps

Elevator and rasp for trepanning

 

Capital set amputation saw

 

 

Hey saw for neurosurgery

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American Surgical Sets:

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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