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

Civil War issue U. S. Army Hospital Department set by Geo. Tiemann

Tags: USA Hospital Department, U.S.A. Hosp. Dept., George Tiemann, Civil War Medicine, Civil War Amputation Set, Civil War Surgery, Amputation, 63 Chatham

This set is a hardcore Civil War field surgery issue.  It was specified by the U. S. Army Hospital Department and is a production set by Geo. Tiemann, N.Y.  The 63 Chatham St. address on the maker label is correct for a Civil War issue set.   63 Chatham St., New-York, would date the manufacture of this set between 1861 to 1864.  George Tiemann sets are wanted to buy.  (Tiemann Catalog).  

George Tiemann cutler

1826-32: 35 Chatham Street

1833-55: 63 Chatham Street (manufacturer of scissors and surgical instruments beginning in 1841)


George Tiemann & Co. (George Tiemann, Frederick A. Stohlmann, and Edward Pfarre) surgical instruments

1855-63/64: 63 Chatham and 44 Eldridge

1863/64-71: 67 Chatham and 44 Eldridge

    Reference: Edmonson

The layout and instruments would indicate use as a field set as opposed to hospital use.  Field sets are not as extensive as hospital sets and would have been used for initial treatment of war wounds as well as for treatment of day-to-day surgical problems.

There is an extensive male urinary set of instruments, as well as neurosurgery, minor surgery, amputation, rectal trocar,  probes and removal instruments for bullets.  All these instruments are common to field military sets, but it is rare to find full 'sets' of the urinary instruments due to their delicate design. 

The heavy bone cutting instruments retain their dark bluing on the springs as well as the 'case coloring' on the metal from having been baked in animal bone to prevent rusting during manufacture, (a technique used in gun smithing which imparts the distinctive color to the metal as seen in the photos below).

The set is marked on the brass cartouche with "U. S. A Hosp. Dep't." , however none of the instruments are so marked, unlike some other sets in this collection from Tiemann and other makers.  The rosewood case (17 x 7 1/4 x 3 3/4 in.) is brass bound, with sliding military latches and brass re-enforcement bands.  There are no screws in the lid of the case.  The interior is covered in purple  velvet.

The source of this set is interesting.  It was obtained by a dealer from a woman in Missouri, in whose family it had resided since the Civil War.  The set was stored on a shelf in an old drug store for years and years and had not been touched or 'gone through'  and stripped of usable instruments like so many other sets found at shows or in the hands of multiple owners.  A rare and unique set to be sure.




           Note the unusual small full-length removable tray for bullet and bone forceps



Display of all instruments in the set



    Amputation knives, note style of ferrule



Upper: set of minor surgery knives;  Lower: metacarpel saw



Tiemann's Bullet Forceps: Fig. 1356 Tiemann's catalog



Mott's tissue retractor, marked Tiemann: Fig. 1554, Tiemann's catalog



Esmarch's Bulbous Artery Forceps, Straight Operating Scissors



Eldridge's (Netalon's) Bullet Probe with porcelain tip: Fig. 1350 Tiemann



Bullet probes:  Top and bottom, Long silver bullet probes: Fig. 1354, Tiemann's catalog



The instrument above is part of a Collins bullet extractor.  The internal rod with a screw tip is missing.   See article on Collins extractor.   The lower instrument is a scoop and knife director.



Upper: Large (9 in.) bone forceps,  Lower: Ferguson's large sequestrum forceps



Mott's aneurism suture set with removable tips


Bone wax, brush, Galt's trephine, elevator and rasp, Hey saw, dissecting hook



Resection Chain saw, carrying needle, and attachment insert on the chain



Various 'Tiemann' markings



Tiemann bow saw with extra blade and marking



Top: Winternitz's psychrophor

Fig. 2925, Tiemann's catalog

Three Otis retention catheters:

Fig. 2899, Tiemann's catalog


Set of silver urinary staves



Buck's Rectal Trocar: Fig. 1730 Tiemann's catalog



Tiemann marked brass tourniquet with pressure pad



Suture needles in chamois holder


See an article on suturing and suture needles

Here is a catalog list of Tiemann instruments normally found in a military surgery set


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American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques