View Full Version : Contents of a Medical Knapsack

07-18-2007, 10:08 AM

Here is a scan of a listing of the contents of a medical knapsack. There are, of course, worlds of difference between what is listed and what is actually in there, as surgeons were known to reorganise things based upon personal experience and what was available.

However, this list is an excellent starting point. I don't know which particular style of knapsack this is appropriate for, but it lays out what was thought to be important at that time, and by that maker.purveyor.


07-18-2007, 03:13 PM
Did you notice what's directly below that? A nice long discussion on hearing loss and earplugs for the artillery. --heading over to Noah's thread on that topic on the AC forum.--

Here's the book online: http://books.google.com/books?id=td3EBXbjACIC&pg=PA116

Hank Trent

07-18-2007, 03:16 PM
Hi Tim!

Here is another - this is from the papers of its creator and supplier to the the Government.

m1862 US Regulation Medical Knapsack - this is the one with three drawers . . .




10-10-2007, 10:16 AM
The following comes from Chisolm's Manual, 3rd Edition of 1864, pg 136-137.

"The hospital knapsack contains the following drugs, viz: tannic acid, 1 oz; chloroform, 1/4 lb; adhesive plaster, 2 yards; isinglass plaster, 2 yards; powdered alum, 2 oz; aromatic spirits of ammonia, 2 oz; Hoffman's anodyne, 2 oz; brandy, 1 bottle; muriate tincture of iron, 4 oz; laudanum, 4 oz; paregoric, 4 oz; comp. cathartic pills, 4 doz; camphor and opium pills (camphor 2 grains, opium 1 grain each), 2 doz; opium pills (1 grain each), 2 doz; accetate of lead and opium pills (lead 2 grains, opium 1 grain each), 2 doz; and quinnine pills (3 grains each), 4 doz."

"When carried on the battle-field many articles may be dispensed with, and in their stead the knapsack should contain lint, bandages, adhesive plaster, sponges, and a bottle of sweet oil, with pins and tape, for the dressing of wounds; a bottle of perchloride of iron, for controlling hemorrhage; field tourniquets; a bottle of morphine, for allaying pain; chloroform, should an urgent case demand an immediate operation to save life, and a quart or more of brandy; also candles and matches which are indispensable, as no efficient aid can be given to the wounded upon the field after darkness sets in, without them."