Monday, April 21, 2014

Ivory and Brass Civil War Period Stomach/Cavity Pump


A very interesting set of old Medical equipment, contemporary to the Civil War. A brass hand-pump, connected by a weaved tubing to various custom-made ivory tips. Physicians would use this apparatus to pump out various body cavities. I suppose that most soldiers would rather face deadly double-cannister on the battlefield than to take on one of these nasty babies!!!

Contrary to our impressions, doctors were quite well-trained and sophisticated in the 1860's, going to formal Medical Schools in the east to study anatomy, physiology, pharmaceuticals, and natural curatives. They were at a crossroads between the old and new worlds of scientific knowledge. Sadly, modern doctors know nothing of herbalism or the great homeopathic philosophies.

Civil War physicians did not simply cut off legs and watch people die. They were excellent hands-on diagnosticians who cared greatly, applied dressings, did minor surgery, made their own medications. They could all set a bone, drain a boil, compose a hysteric and even deliver a baby on a buckboard if need be!

This pump-set is an uncommon accessory in its original walnut box. (No, I have NOT tested it!!!)


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