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

1860's Dietrich Kolbe', Civil War, U.S. Army Surgical Set

Tags: USA Hospital Department, field set, Hospital surgical set, U.S.A. Hosp. Dept., Dietrich W Kolbe, Civil War Medicine, Surgical Field, Civil War Surgery, Amputation, bone surgery

A U. S. Army Hospital Dept. resection oriented Civil War surgical set by Dietrich W. Kolbe' of Philadelphia.  Kolbe' was one of the Philadelphia makers (1851 to 1878) who was awarded contracts to produce surgical sets during the Civil War for the Union troops.  His company was in business from 1851 to 1854 at 45 S. 8th.   For a short time he was associated with Kuemerle at 45 S. 8th,  then alone at 45 S. 8th from 1856 to 1857 at 45 S. 8th.  Later addresses were on S. 9th until 1879.  Kolbe sets are wanted to buy.   All dates are from the Directory of Makers and Dealers as listed by Edmonson in American Surgical Instruments: an Illustrated History:

D. W. Kolbe (Dietrich W. Kolbe)

1856-57: 45 S. 8th

1858: III S. 8th

1859-66: 32 S. 9th

1867-78: 15 S. 9th (Dietrich W. Kolbe dies 1878)

This Civil War military surgical set was made with emphasis on amputation and bone surgery.  A much lighter general set would have had male urology sounds, bullet probes and forceps , as well as other minor surgery and amputation instruments.  See an example of a Tiemann field surgery set.  This set, however, was intended for a hospital or rear area surgery location, rather than field use.

The set has heavy bone cutting forceps, chain saw, and various "points and blunts" (hammer and chisels) which were used to cut and trim bone.  It is a "specialty" set for use in dealing with large human bones and the wounds of war.

Click on photos to enlarge

The top of the mahogany case has an inset cartouche with the U.S.A. Hospital Department inscription.  It is the official indication that this set was made to specifications of the Union Army by instrument maker Kolbe' of Philadelphia, Pa., c. 1860-1864 sskolbe9.jpg (15311 bytes)
The factory engraved cartouche is made of brass and hand -cut to fit the wooden box slot. sskolbe7.jpg (43980 bytes)
The front of the set is significant in that there is no key mechanism and only laterally sliding latches at both sides as is customary for these military sets.

Dimensions: 4.5 x 6..5 x 16.75 inches

sskolbe8.jpg (15925 bytes)

One of the key methods to date instruments is by the address of the maker.  This 32 South Ninth Street address in the set would put Kolbe' at this location during the Civil War.

Below are photos of the interior of the set through the four levels as it is taken apart. 

All instruments are marked" Kolbe' " or "Kolbe' / Phila."  Two of the large amputation knives are missing.  Replacements are sought.

sskolbe1.jpg (46076 bytes)
sskolbe3.jpg (64084 bytes) sskolbe4.jpg (61629 bytes)
sskolbe5.jpg (27459 bytes) sskolbe6.jpg (33881 bytes)

The large and heavy bone forceps are clearly marked with the U.S.A. Hosp. Dep't. mark which would indicate their military contract origins.

     All instruments below are included in this set 

kolbeinstruments.JPG (47503 bytes) kolbetrephine.JPG (45649 bytes)
Kolbedrill.JPG (26811 bytes) kolbe saws.JPG (34550 bytes)
kolbepointsblunts.JPG (39100 bytes) kolberetractors.JPG (28903 bytes)
kolberonguers.JPG (44126 bytes) kolbeknives.JPG (36595 bytes)

 

Display 1  |  Display 2  |  Display 3  |  Display 4  |  Display 5  |  Display 6

  Contact   |  SEARCH THIS SITE | Sitemap for all pages

 

Home page  |  1800's & Civil War Surgery Set Displays  |  Article Indexes  |  Researching Civil War Surgeons

Medical Faculty & Authors  |  Civil War Medical Books  |  Medicine Containers

Medical College Index - Lecture Cards  |  Civil War Medical Book Author-Title Index

 

Wanted to Purchase: Items like those on this website... Contact

We are preservers, not dealers, of American Medical History

 

Civil War Medical Collections 

 

Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site

American Surgical Sets:

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

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

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

Medical Lecture Cards:

Medical Faculty and Authors:

1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

INDEX

Navy Surgeon Exams:

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

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Alphabetical index of all research and study pages:

Index Page One  |  Index Page Two  |  ARTICLES INDEXES

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques