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"Doc" Nelson
09-30-2006, 06:56 PM
Are there any vendors out there that have "historically correct" Medical/Hospital Knapsacks? Or, is there a way to take a regular knapsack and somehow turn it into a hospital knapsack??? Any suggestions?

As always, most respectfully yours,

TimKindred
09-30-2006, 07:54 PM
Are there any vendors out there that have "historically correct" Medical/Hospital Knapsacks? Or, is there a way to take a regular knapsack and somehow turn it into a hospital knapsack??? Any suggestions?

As always, most respectfully yours,

Comrade Doctor,

Okay, I'll jump in here. The McElvoy pattern offered by Dixie Leather Works is actually a pretty close copy of the original. The dimensions are correct, as is the construction and finish. However, there are some things that can be done to "authentisize" it and I will add them here. For the record, I own one of these copies, and I have also examined an original in a private collection.

To wit: The DLW copy has the leather belt and shoulder strap adjustment loops sewn with nylon thread, as opposed to waxed linen. I used a thread ripper and removed the nylon, and restitched it with proper waxed linnen thread. The proper thread may be had from, of all places, the craft department of the local WalMart.

The original I examined had iron buckles rather than the brass ones Dixie sells their's with. Again, I obtained some japanned iron buckles of the proper size and replaced the brass ones.

Lastly, each drawer in the DLW copy has a small section with round holes drilled for small glass vials. In the original I examined, only the upper section had this feature. I ordered a seperate drawer made as one large open drawer. for an additional $20.00 and it was worth it. Had I known of this before hand, I would have asked that the knapsack be made with the inner drawers of open box construction and no dividers or vial holders.


These simple upgrades will go a long ways towards upping the ante of the knapsack, so to speak.

As to other styles, many were simply field-modified knapsacks, early on, and if you examine Gordon Damaan's books, you'll see a soft pack modified with a tin insert. That would be very easy to make if you have a tinsmith nearby, or someone who does tin flashing for roofs, chimneys, etc. I would use a single-bag soft pack as a starter and go from there.

Also, a hardpack, or box knapsack could also be easily modified with some wooden inserts.

Finally, keep in mind that all of these will be of some weight prior to adding the contents. Most period accounts speak of these knapsacks primarily carrying bandages, tourniquets, splints, sutures and pain killers. I agree, and have adjusted my own knapsack accordingly. It's not supposed to be a paramedic's case, or a portable operating room. Rather, it's to have enough stuff to stabilise a patient, stop the bleeding, deaden the pain, and get him ready for transport to the field hospital.

Give me a shout if you have any questions.

Respects,

NoahBriggs
10-01-2006, 08:19 AM
I had kicked around the idea of modifying my infantry pack to make a hospital pack. Back when I was in the 28th Mass we made our own packs with removable interior wood frames. The frame could easil be used as the basic dimensions for a a hospital pack frame.

More to come as I measure, plot and scheme.

NJ Sekela
10-01-2006, 01:21 PM
The Horse Solider recently had an original Hospital Knapsack for sale. You might be able to get pics from them if you ask.

I am, &c,

NJ Sekela,
Manfr'r.
N. Jers'y.

http://www.njsekela.com
http://www.ejtsutler.com
http://www.carterandjasper.com

Mojo1842
02-13-2007, 11:14 PM
Are there any vendors out there that have "historically correct" Medical/Hospital Knapsacks? Or, is there a way to take a regular knapsack and somehow turn it into a hospital knapsack??? Any suggestions?

As always, most respectfully yours,

The dimensions, descriptions and illustrations of several types can be found here:

http://www.civilwarhome.com/medicalstaff.htm

as well as images of reproductions that have been made of them:

http://www.warplay.com/Warplay9E-ACW%20Medical%20Sets%20.htm

I've been looking for the patents as well, but as yet haven't found them.

From the illustrations and the pictures it doesn't seem that the 1862 model would be too difficult to construct and if the freezing rain doesn't stop here, I might just scrounge up some foamcore board and mock one up. I'm not about to fool with wicker, but if it's covered with painted cloth, that shouldn't be too hard what with the recipe so easily found...

verg
02-14-2007, 12:11 PM
Hi,

Interesting that this topic comes up at this point.

We are having a cabinet shop make up several interior assemblies for the m1862 Medical Department Knapsack taken from the Gettysburg example. Here are a few of the pictures I took about two weeks ago. I just happened to be there the day that particular display case was open. They nicely let me examine, take pictures and careful measurements for an hour, or so, of a number of artifacts.

If anyone is interested in one, please contact me off list. I am sure the cabinet makers wouldn't mind making up more while they have the machinery set up for it.

http://www.thefieldhospital.com/emedknapsack01.jpg

John Novicki
http://www.thefieldhospital.com

verg
02-14-2007, 01:19 PM
In going through my files, I pulled out this list from Jacob Dunton's* papers. Perhaps the corrections are his.

http://www.thefieldhospital.com/SM_Dunton_pack_list01.jpg

*(Jacob Dunton was the inventor and purveyor for many of the items we use in our impressions.)




John Novicki
http://www.thefieldhospital.com

TimKindred
02-14-2007, 06:27 PM
John,

Nice pix, and thanks for listing your site. Some great info there.

Respects,

verg
02-14-2007, 08:06 PM
Thank you!

We have another batch of primary documents to load - perhaps in the next couple of weeks. We're scanning and coding about ten/day. Should be useful to someone.


Yours,

John Novicki
http://www.thefieldhospital.com/

hta1970
10-10-2007, 10:32 AM
I found the following in Chisolm's manual, 3rd edition of 1864, pg 136.

"The hospital knapsack which has been issued to the Confederate army is framed similarly to the ordinary knapsack, but larger, being sixteen inches long, fourteen inches wide, and six inches deep. The interior is divided by wooden partitions into four compartments, with a broad band of leather tacked across the lower portion of the enclosure to prevent the contents from dropping out. A leather apron, similar to that of an ordinary knapsack, covers the front of the knapsack. The frame is surmounted by a horseman's valise, which is convenient for carrying large bottles, dressings, and instruments."

hta1970
04-23-2008, 03:06 PM
I have been talking with Don Smith at Trans-Mississippi Depot about making me a hospital knapsack based on the description found in Chisolm's manual, 3rd edition of 1864, pg 136.

"The hospital knapsack which has been issued to the Confederate army is framed similarly to the ordinary knapsack, but larger, being sixteen inches long, fourteen inches wide, and six inches deep. The interior is divided by wooden partitions into four compartments, with a broad band of leather tacked across the lower portion of the enclosure to prevent the contents from dropping out. A leather apron, similar to that of an ordinary knapsack, covers the front of the knapsack. The frame is surmounted by a horseman's valise, which is convenient for carrying large bottles, dressings, and instruments."

Does anyone know of a surviving example of this style of hospital knapsack from which I can get photographs to aid him in the reproduction?

Thanks!

2nd_mi_johnny
04-23-2008, 04:50 PM
I'm going to have to hunt down the link because I had to return my computer to the factory settings which lost all the data on it. But theres a guy who does a really good hospital stewards web page and he has alot of pictures of hospital steward equiptment, and I think one of them IS the hospital stewards napsack. I have been told by several people, that with some retooling you could fix a Hardpack Napsack to act as a fairly convencing faximally of the hospital issue hard sack.