Cased Surgical Sets

The heyday of American-made surgical instruments was from the 1840's to the 1890's.  Prior to that time, most instruments were made in Europe and imported to this country.  After the turn of the century, once again European and specifically the German manufacturers pretty much took over the trade.  

Displayed on this page are amputation and surgical sets by some of the most famous makers of the time.   Of particular interest are those used in the Civil War which could be any set existing prior to the War or those made specifically and marked as such during that four year time frame.

Page 1

From the private collections of Doug Arbittier

Click on any photo to enlarge it


c. 1840's amputation set by Wiegand and Snowden of Philadelphia, Pa.  Note the shape of the blade of the large amputation knives which have a curved downward shape.  This shape is typical of the blades on early American surgical instruments after the Revolutionary War and before the Civil War.   wiegand.jpg (15038 bytes)


wiegand2.jpg (47088 bytes)wiegand3.jpg (26431 bytes)
Another c. 1840's set by Wiegand and Snowden.  This set has a very similar layout to the one above. The instruments have the same downturned tips and wide spines. The metacarpal saw has a slightly different handle and there is an unusual velvet cover to the saw blades in this set. A trade card for J.A. Barnes Jr. from Gessie Indiana. He dates to the 1880's but his father may have been a physician also, and it may have been his set. w&s1.jpg (35015 bytes)


w&s3.jpg (47266 bytes)w&s4.jpg (50048 bytes)
Civil War era set by Tiemann New York. This set has a trade label for the 63 Chatham street address. It is a petit size for a capital amputation and neurosurgical set. One of the trephines has an unusually small diameter and large length. Also making this kit unusual it the locking mechanism. 
Civil War era set for a civilian surgeon. This set is by Kern, Philadelphia as is the set below. Top inscribed "J.R. Blair" (research pending). Instruments for amputation and neurosurgery and similar configuration to the Kuemerle and Teufel sets above.  blair1.jpg (60568 bytes) blair3.jpg (71817 bytes)

blair5.jpg (83539 bytes)

Civil War era set by Kern, Philadelphia.  This set has four layers and includes instruments for orthopedics, general surgery, and neurosurgery. Very similar to the Kolbe set above. This set includes the original sales receipt!   kern1.jpg (74998 bytes) kern9.jpg (95022 bytes)
Fantastic and complete English Surgical Set by Savigny, ca 1800. This set was mainly for amputation. All instruments signed Savigny. Note the slight "down turning" to the blades of the knives and the unusual angle between the handle and blade on the amputation saw.



Please click here to see the type of Items wanted for this private collection

Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

Contact Dr. Arbittier or Dr. Echols



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

Medical Faculty and Authors:


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

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Please request permission before commercial use or publication of any content or photos on this site and credit any use with:  "American Civil War Surgical Antiques"   All content and all original photography on this Web Site is copyrighted 1995 - 2015 and may not be used on any other web site or in commercial print without the expressed e-mail permission from Dr. Arbittier:  Contact   All rights reserved. 


Students doing reports or projects are welcome to use the content of this site without permission, but credits would be appreciated.


Please note: information on this site may not be normally referenced as this is an active and long-term educational research project.  Personal notes may not be properly cited for publication.  Various articles are digitally reproduced under the 'fair-use act' of the copyright laws and are intended for educational purposes only.  Many citations are from Google digital 'books' and can be traced backwards via a search of a unique string in the citation.


 Arbittier Museum of Medical History Tour:   1 | 2 | 3


Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016