Monday, July 13, 2015

United States Navy Surgical and Amputation Kit, Circa 1860


United States Navy surgical and amputation kit, circa 1860
Wood; brass; nickel plated steel; velvet
Manufactured by Leach & Greene [case], Walthers & Company [capital saw & liston knife], Luer [scalpels & scissors], Charriere [scalpel]
Donated by Charles Hubbard III, 2006
Warren Anatomical Museum, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine [WAM 20141]

These instruments were used by Union Navy Assistant Surgeon and 1861 Harvard Medical School graduate Charles Thatcher Hubbard aboard the USS Unadilla during the American Civil War. The Unadilla was one of the Union’s 23 “90 day gunboats” and was involved in several blockades and engagements off the Southeast coast of the United States. The ship and its surgeon participated in the capture of Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard in Port Royal Sound, South Carolina and the blockade of Charlestown. The various manufactures in the surgical kit suggest an active surgery with constant replacing of instruments due to use, breakage, and loss.


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