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Jas. Cox
07-25-2007, 09:13 PM
Again let me state that I did a forum search and found nothing on this, which is not to say there is nothing on this, in this forum.

I purchased a set of "civil war era medical tools" from a sutler. Basically it's a modern day school dissection kit. The totally metal scalpels are sort of a give away. So here is a couple of questions. As I am not going to go out and purchase authentic era medical supplies, anyone have any ideas on how to attach something to the scalpel handles to make them at least a bit more in line with the "look" of the period? And does anyone have any thoughts on attaching a porcelain tip to the end of the metal rod "probe" that came with this kit?

Play nice.

TimKindred
07-25-2007, 09:33 PM
Well,

You could always donate it to the local high school biology class & save up for a decent repro set..cough, cough.. :rolleyes:

At this point, there are a couple things you can do, but the big problem is that most likely the scalpels have the wrong shaped blades as well.

Handle-wise, you need to find some clear ebony or ivory, or another clear hardwood, about an 1/8" thick. Cut shapes from this slightly larger (about 1/16" or so) than the size of the handles. Drill two small holes into each one equi-distance from eachother. Now tap a short length of brass rod through each hole, cut it off with a cutting wheel, and file it smooth.

After all the handle blanks are drilled and tapped, glue them onto the sides of the instruments with a strong epoxy, then set aside to dry for about 24 hours or so.

When the handle blanks are firmly cemented to the instruments, use a sanding block to shpe them to match the contours of the instrument handles, slightly beveling the edges. Lastly, oil them well, sanding between coats with a fine steel wool, then polish.

As I said though, if the blades are not the correct shape, it's a lot of work to do, but the call is yours to make. There is a set being sold on ebay for around $175 or so that is similar to the one Ed Archer sells, though the quality seems to be less than his. I believe that two flags sutlers and Milk Creek are selling them.

Respects,

NoahBriggs
07-26-2007, 04:13 AM
Milk Creek is a tacky knockoff of an Ed Archer kit. I say you should be patient and save up for either a decent repro or a good original.

Micah Trent
07-26-2007, 07:27 AM
Milk Creek is a tacky knockoff of an Ed Archer kit. I say you should be patient and save up for either a decent repro or a good original.

Jas.,
Ditto on what Noah said.
I think you should be be patient, because the money you spent on the kit which you purchased, plus the extra time and work going into "doctoring" your kit to make it look not as modern, just seems like a lot of hassel and could've been avoided with just a bit of extra time.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in this hobby over the years is that patience and quality "for the most part" is a virtue!
But anyway, I hope what you got works out for you.

"Doc" Nelson
07-26-2007, 08:13 AM
Jim,
I also fell into that "abyss" of non-period instruments . . when I first started out with my impression. I learned really quick that, to obtain good reproduction instruments, I needed to be patient . . as both Noah and Micah stated. I bought, what I thought was, an actual reproduction kit, with some original instruments included. Little did I realize that, they were from WWII.

Well, after being disappointed, I knew I needed to ask others what to do and, where to go. Of course, the answer I received was Ed Archer. His instruments are awesome . . but, pricy (I think I spelled it correctly). Well, I searched (patiently) and, came across someone that had an Ed Archer set that he was selling. I bought the set for only a fraction of the cost of a brand new set. Brand new, the cost is $700. So, what am I saying? Patience pays off. Good luck, my friend.

NoahBriggs
07-26-2007, 08:21 AM
Milk Creek is a weird, poorly-researched blend of the Archer pocket dissection and surgical kits. It looks crudely made, and looks like they are trying to forge/manufacture their own metal instruments based on crude castings created from reverse-engineering Archer kits.

Sometime back I posted on this conference for another newbie my current bibiliography. It includes a couple of websites designed to help you identify correct instruments and kits, and how to avoid knockoffs and outright scams.

http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4400&page=2 is where the biblio is located.

All roads lead right to Ed Archer's doorstep when it comes to repop instruments.

TimKindred
07-26-2007, 08:47 AM
Noah,

You are spot on. I am NOT encouraging anyone to try and "get by" by modifying sets of intruments to "sort of" resemble older ones. My example was purely to show the amount of work involved, and that even then, it still wouldn't be quite right.

Milk Creek is to be commended for attempting to fill a need. Having said that, their products are nothing more than a mish-mash of knock-offs, as you say, and poorly made at that. Thus, it's a lot of effort on their part for what is at best a theatrical prop in a Gothic horror flick.

Respects,

cwmed
07-31-2007, 01:32 PM
Well the only "good" medical thing that has come out of Mill Creek is there Trephine. I own 3 of Edds kits and the quality of the trephine that Mill Creek produces is close but not spot on. However, it is worth the 50$ that I paid for it even though the "pocket kit" that they try to pass off is horrible!

Luke Castleberry

NoahBriggs
07-31-2007, 02:06 PM
What kind of trephines do they sell? I have one type and need the other. Lenticular scalpel and a heys saw, too, but that's further down the road.

lodownrebel
08-01-2007, 01:10 AM
I just wanted to say....Good luck getting intouch with Ed Archer....I have tryed to months with no returned phone calls or emails.....I have purchased many items from Two Flags Sutlery....They have a few items on their web site with more comming....in the works are a Capital Amputation kit , Hey's Saw, Chain saw which no one has and a Raspatory ...check their web site www.twoflagssutlery.com




Good Luck !

NoahBriggs
08-01-2007, 04:22 AM
Ed Archer has another job, too. I think he is also part of the National Guard, which could make it hard to get in contact with him. I, too, got impatient with him, and even went as far as to flame him on this board. i found out later the information above.

Still, it lead me to find and pick up my current kit in a stroke of luck, and for less money, too. To each their own.

It's nice to see the competition gearing up. I think we will be watching the other vendors carefully. if you think reenactors dicker over vendors' fatigue blouse details, wait'll you get a load of us!! :p

Edited to add:

Just visited their site. The laudanum bottle is neat, but when they say "close-up" on the product image they ain't kidding! I got a good look at the cork and nothing else; there is no way to shift the image. (I wanted to see the label.)

They, too, sell a pocket kit similar to Archer's. It's not the pocket SURGICAL kit, it's the pocket POSTMORTEM DISSECTION kit. Yet, like Mill Creek it's advertised as a surgical kit. Eep!

The trephine interests me.

Bookmarked and waiting for further updates!

Jas. Cox
08-01-2007, 02:16 PM
Just visited their site. The laudanum bottle is neat, but when they say "close-up" on the product image they ain't kidding! I got a good look at the cork and nothing else; there is no way to shift the image. (I wanted to see the label.)


I resized this image and sent it to your bluemass account. If you cannot view it still, just let me know and I will resize smaller.

hta1970
08-24-2007, 08:07 PM
Can anyone advise on the accuracy of the laudanum bottle and the other items from the two flags sutlery? I was thinking if the bottle looked good I could remove the label for other medicines. Any advice? And does the label work for a civilian medicine bottle?

Thanks!
Harry

Jas. Cox
10-07-2007, 02:37 PM
Okay, you people make me insane. While not hard core, I want to be as accurate as I can afford, keeping in mind that none of us is going to be 100% authentic unless it's all original equipment, we walk, or ride period conveyances to events, believe in our hearts what people of the period believed and actually shoot at each other. With that said, I had to add a couple of more authentic tools to my medical impression. So last night I ordered through http://www.civilwarmedbooks.com/Individual%20Instruments.idc from a search I did of Ed Archer Medical Instruments:

[1] AK03, Straight Forceps / Bullet Extractor (small), NA, NA, 45.00 [45.00]
[1] AK07, Scalpel - Straight 16 cm, NA, NA, 40.00 [40.00]

I already have silk sutured (not on a cord), a director ( cheaply made, but still the basic style of the era), a straight razor, a probe (without porcelain tip), curved needles, blah, blah, blah. I felt that the Forceps and Scalpel were important tools with which to begin my collection. I really need to get something for scarification and bleeding. I was appointed by the Governor Oliver P. Morton, of the State of Indiana as a doctor in a volunteer unit. I have not quiet decided if I am a barber who believes in bleed, blister and purge, or someone who has apprenticed with Dr. Ralph Wilson. I'm leaning towards the barber as I have little to no medical knowledge. I plan to learn some along the way, but not all civil war doctors were well trained, college educated sorts, thus there is a place for my incompetence to round out the picture. The quest continues ....

NoahBriggs
10-07-2007, 06:05 PM
Here is a quick mock-up of what I'd look for. The bottle is original, it's filled with cola syrup tinted with peppermint/licoice flavor, and the label is fictional, but based on the original labels I saw at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. The bottle itself is about four and a half inches high by about one and a quarter inches wide. This would be a good non-functional example of a prescription bottle for a patient, it's used by tipping and letting a couple of drops fall into the liquid. The bottle opening is too small to admit a dropper. I tried this at the 1888 reunion.)

http://usera.imagecave.com/thesewingacademy/NoahBriggs/Laudanumbottle.JPG

It's good to see that Jas. Cox is on your way to an impression. I'd recommend doing a lot of reading before plunging into the material culture. Fortunately original blistering cups are available for about $20. The spring-loaded lancets are up to $300. I don't think anyone os going to judge you as a poor impression. You are here, and that shows you care.

Jas. Cox
10-07-2007, 10:55 PM
.... The bottle opening is too small to admit a dropper. I tried this at the 1888 reunion.)




I really cannot tell what size opening the bottle you are showing has, however, Restoration Hardware used to have small glass square bottles with droppers. I don't know if they would be historically accurate. The droppers are glass with a brown, rubberesque bulb. They might fit your bottle. I don't currently see anything like that on their website (It's been at least three years since I saw them at their store) but one might be able to co-opt some of these things for a medical impression. http://www.restorationhardware.com/rh/catalog/category/category_w_products.jsp?navSrc=leftNav&navAction=jump&navCount=1&categoryId=cat780015

I've been meaning to ask, is a plain, white porcelain mortar a good choice for reenacting?

Not that my reading ability is lacking, nor my vocabulary, but I have always been more of a visual and auditory learner. I have difficulty concentrating on and learning from dry written material.

NoahBriggs
10-08-2007, 12:00 AM
The droppers are glass with a brown, rubberesque bulb.

I have a Restoration Hardware bottle with the rubber eyedropper. I don't know if it's correct for the era. I can tell you, however, its eyedropper will not fit this bottle's opening.

Porcelain mortars were used to triturate metals. Some pills were coated with metals, and the metals were ground up in the porcelain. In theory you'd also need a metal one and a wooden one.

Edward Parrish's book Intro to Practical Pharmacy goes into further detail on mortars and pestles, and Wayne Bethard explains them in a modern book Potions, Lotions and Deadly Elixirs.

Jas. Cox
10-08-2007, 07:46 PM
I have a Restoration Hardware bottle with the rubber eyedropper. I don't know if it's correct for the era. I can tell you, however, its eyedropper will not fit this bottle's opening.

Porcelain mortars were used to triturate metals. Some pills were coated with metals, and the metals were ground up in the porcelain. In theory you'd also need a metal one and a wooden one.

Edward Parrish's book Intro to Practical Pharmacy goes into further detail on mortars and pestles, and Wayne Bethard explains them in a modern book Potions, Lotions and Deadly Elixirs.

Ah well, it was worth a shot.

Thank you for the information on the mortars, now in your opinion would the pestles have to be of corresponding materials or would the wood pestle I have work for all three? Or should I just read the aforementioned book for my answer?

NoahBriggs
10-08-2007, 10:32 PM
You should have wooden mortar for wooden pestle, porcelain for porcelain, and metal for metal.

hta1970
10-08-2007, 11:25 PM
This is what I have found in the original Confederate publications on the subject of the mortar and pestel.

Chisolm's 3rd Edition of 1864 on page 129 lists one mortar and pestel as part of the regimental medicine-chest. He does not specify the material of which it is made.

The Regulation for the Army of the Confederate States, 1863, on pg 254 lists two motars and pastles, wedgewood, (small) for a regiment and one for a battalion and/or company.

The same regulation on pg 248 lists one motar and pestle glass for hospitals from 100 to 300 men and two for hospitals from 300 to 1000 men. In addition to this there was one iron mortar and pestle for a hospital regardless of size and also one wedgewood mortar and pestel for hospitals from 100 to 200 men and two for hospitals from 200 to 400 men and three for hospitals from 400 to 100 men. (there is no size indication on any of these mortars and pestles.

Regulations for the Medical Department of the C.S. Army 1862 on pg 21 and 26 has the same numbers as the above regulation as does Regulations for the Medical Department of the C.S. Army 1863 also on pg 21 and 26.

Jas. Cox
10-09-2007, 03:12 PM
This is what I have found in the original Confederate publications on the subject of the mortar and pestel.

... one motar and pestle glass for hospitals from 100 to 300 men ....

Hum, glass. Now I need to get four kinds. I wonder where I can find these. My father-in-law could probably turn a wood one for me .... Thanks for the information y'all have provided. Interesting.

Jas. Cox
10-19-2007, 12:58 PM
So last night I ordered through http://www.civilwarmedbooks.com/Individual%20Instruments.idc from a search I did of Ed Archer Medical Instruments:

[1] AK03, Straight Forceps / Bullet Extractor (small), NA, NA, 45.00 [45.00]
[1] AK07, Scalpel - Straight 16 cm, NA, NA, 40.00 [40.00]



As I quote myself ...

Has anyone ordered from here before and know how long it normally takes? They sent me an e-mail confirmation quickly, but it's been a week and a half now. Not that I'm an impatient sort of person. :rolleyes:

NoahBriggs
10-19-2007, 01:22 PM
Good question. I ordered the dissection kit from him, and I forgot how long it took. I think it depends on what he has in stock. He may be doing other things, too, ie, another job, which will affect the time for you to get your order.

Sorry I can not be more help.

Marc
10-19-2007, 02:18 PM
It will come and you will be glad for the wait. Like Noah said it depends on what is in stock. I don't think he carries a big finished inventory due to cost etc

Jas. Cox
10-19-2007, 02:43 PM
It will come and you will be glad for the wait. Like Noah said it depends on what is in stock. I don't think he carries a big finished inventory due to cost etc

Sounds like "You will wait and like it." ;) At the time, the site said they had them in stock. But it's not like I'm going to rush out and operate once they arrive. I was just trying to get a feel. Two weeks, a month, six months, death bed.

Thanks for all your comments. At some point I am going to take a photo of what instrument I have and let you guys tell me what you would remove/keep and why. I have a feeling it will be most of them.

NoahBriggs
10-19-2007, 05:55 PM
Why not do it now, while you wait? The Archer stuff should be period.

Jas. Cox
10-20-2007, 04:15 PM
Why not do it now, while you wait? The Archer stuff should be period.

Okay, here are images of my current medical instruments (and other objects for effect). Opinions on what one thinks should go or stay are encouraged.

http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt1.jpg
http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt2.jpg
http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt3.jpg

Respectfully,

Jas. Cox

NoahBriggs
10-20-2007, 06:18 PM
Great portable setup! It's nice to carry everything with you in one bag.

Bear in mind this is my opinion only.

Picture 1: Personally I opt for an enlisted man's forage cap with no insignia on it whatsoever. I feel that broad-brimmed hats are overdone, and the "MS insignia is way overdone.

Mismatched bottles seems silly.

Not sure what "Spiritus Absolutus" is. Unless that's an inside joke. If it's the medcinal brandy to combat shock then "Alcohols fortis" is a better label.

Picture 2:

The following instruments make me raise my eyebrows: the razor (third from left) the angled forceps (fifth from left) and the dental scraper (sixth from left). The scraper has a metal handle, the originals had ivory handles.

Hard to read the smaller labels on the smaller bottles. Again, standard set of bottles and labels looks better in my eyes, as it literally gives the impression you received your medicines from the sam purveyor.

I cannot read the label on the circular box. I'm interested in seeing what it is.

Picture 3: Ah. Here we go. Olive oil, ammonia water, quinine. You might want to switch those names totheir Latin versions, with the English names underneath. Again, standard set of bottles with standard labels is a good idea.

I ignored the pistol because that's a matter of personal taste.

If you'd like I can lay out my stuff, and we can peer-review it for gits and shiggles. That way the newer stitchies on the forum won't feel like they are under the authenticity microscope.

hanktrent
10-20-2007, 07:39 PM
In addition to what Noah said, I'm curious about the locking ratchet thingies (don't know what they're called) on the forceps. I know these are almost universal today. How common were they in the 1860s? This site http://www.braceface.com/medical/Articles/Forceps_joints_finger_hole_design.htm shows many period ones without the locking device, and several post-1890s ones with it.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

NoahBriggs
10-20-2007, 09:14 PM
The ratchet thingies are called locking ratchets, and according to the 1889 Teimann catalogue they were a one ratchet system, and the one ratchet system seems to be the most prominent type of locking system. The Archer repros use the same thing. I have some arterial forceps with the multiple ratchets, like the ratchets you see in Cox's pictures. Mine can be TPQ dated to 1889 at least, according to pg. 94 in the Teimann catalogue. They are not part of my original kit, which is TPQ dated to 1877. Thus, I think one could conclude based on Hanks remarks and what I found, that the surgical clamps were shifting from one-ratchet locks to multiple locks in the 1880s to early 90s.

It's a frequent problem locating surgical kits/instruments which truly date from the 1850s and 60s. Seems like adding "Civil War" on the front of the item's name justifies jacking the price from $20 to $200, especially ball extractors. I had to compromise with my kit - 1877, but still has the hard rubber handles on the saw and knives as would be appropriate for earlier, instead of all-steel from the later antiseptic period. I wanted something that looked like it from a distance, though anyone proficient in collecting kits would be able to tell mine was post-war with individual additions. The medical antiques websites complained that reenactors shop for kits based on "the look", then pimp them out with extra instruments, rather than actually checking to make sure all the contents actually go together. Guilty, but at third-person demos I explain my kit is post-war.

Jas. Cox
10-21-2007, 04:59 PM
Great portable setup! It's nice to carry everything with you in one bag.

Bear in mind this is my opinion only.

Picture 1: Personally I opt for an enlisted man's forage cap with no insignia on it whatsoever. I feel that broad-brimmed hats are overdone, and the "MS insignia is way overdone.

Mismatched bottles seems silly.

Not sure what "Spiritus Absolutus" is. Unless that's an inside joke. If it's the medcinal brandy to combat shock then "Alcohols fortis" is a better label.

Picture 2:

The following instruments make me raise my eyebrows: the razor (third from left) the angled forceps (fifth from left) and the dental scraper (sixth from left). The scraper has a metal handle, the originals had ivory handles.

Hard to read the smaller labels on the smaller bottles. Again, standard set of bottles and labels looks better in my eyes, as it literally gives the impression you received your medicines from the sam purveyor.

I cannot read the label on the circular box. I'm interested in seeing what it is.

Picture 3: Ah. Here we go. Olive oil, ammonia water, quinine. You might want to switch those names totheir Latin versions, with the English names underneath. Again, standard set of bottles with standard labels is a good idea.

I ignored the pistol because that's a matter of personal taste.

If you'd like I can lay out my stuff, and we can peer-review it for gits and shiggles. That way the newer stitchies on the forum won't feel like they are under the authenticity microscope.

Ouch! Actually thanks for the feedback. I will address a bit of what you said to ask for clarification and to clarify.

Picture 1:

1. I like my slouch hat. It's comfortable. My forage cap has my great, great (may be one too many or one too few) grandfather's Federal unit on it. I'm willing to lose the "MS Insignia" on it even though I have sewn it on twice now. I have broad brimmed officer's hat with the MS on it, if I would ever need it. I will say, this past summer, I exclusively wore a straw Amish type hat. No insignia of course.

2. I could see mismatched bottles over the course of the war. Perhaps more so for a confederate impression. However, I'm willing to stick to one small bottle size. If I ever get the bottle set from Dixie Leather Works, then even better.

3. "Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine Instruments and Equipment Volume III" by Dr. Gordon Dammann, page 52 upper left corner. "Clear glass medicine bottle marked 'Spiritus Absolutus' or Hospital Brandy."

Picture 2:

1. Why doth the razor raise thy eyebrow? While not a medical instrument per se, I could see it being used to cut bandages, "purge, blister and bleed," shave an area before surgery (kidding), etc. Again to sight Dr. Gordon Dammann, "Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine Instruments and Equipment Volume I" page 27 looks like there may be a razor in the kit. I'm not for sure. I have no problem removing the angled forceps and dental scraper. So, in your opinion, the rest of the instruments are passable (from what you can see)?

2. Standard set of bottles. Noted above.

3. Actually, not a round box. It is a wooden spool of actual silk suture. I know it would normally be on a card, but I haven't been able to find a good way to reproduce the card yet, and I'll be damned if I pay $20 for suture and a card, when I only need the card.

Picture 3:

1. Using the Latin and English names sounds like a fine idea to me. Can you provide me with a list of the Latin names that go with various "medicines" or tell me where to find them? I wonder if Google translator has an English to Latin function.

2. Yes, the revolver was discussed in a whole separate thread in which we both threw in our opinions. But I dare anyone to try and take away my pistol (again I'm kidding).

3. You can lay out your things for peer review, but I doubt you have few peers. It would still be interesting to look at your "Stuff."

Again, thank you for everyone's feedback. I do want to learn and I don't want to seem argumentative. I just have opinions and personal taste on some items. Good thing I didn't show my knee boots ....

NoahBriggs
10-21-2007, 05:51 PM
Speculation - the razor could indeed be used to shave an area before surgery. Scalpels do agreat job of cutting bandages in a pinch. Perhaps the surgeon who owned the kit thought "good place to stash my razor so it won't get lost".

The bottle set form Dixie are small bottles; not enough for you to apply to several hundred sick people. (Historically speaking.)

I checked your source for the Brandy bottle. You are correct. In the future it should be noted there are a couple of errors in the Dammann books, ergo we should be careful citing them. I think all of us could have fun listing them and posting them to make sure we are all, literally on the same page.

The rest of the instruments seem passable to me.

Tim Kindred is working on getting a suture thread card made up.

I can send to you the latest draft of my pharmacy notes. Seventy pages of listings: English and Latin names, functions, how to reproduce the look and taste, and how it was used, citing both primary and secondary sources.

Jas. Cox
10-21-2007, 06:14 PM
...
The bottle set form Dixie are small bottles; not enough for you to apply to several hundred sick people. (Historically speaking.)

... In the future it should be noted there are a couple of errors in the Dammann books, ergo we should be careful citing them. ....

Tim Kindred is working on getting a suture thread card made up.

I can send to you the latest draft of my pharmacy notes. Seventy pages of listings: English and Latin names, functions, how to reproduce the look and taste, and how it was used, citing both primary and secondary sources.

I'm thinking small kit for me to carry. Not a full blown medical hospital. So I wouldn't need a large, full collection of bottles. Have haversack will travel. ~ But duly noted. Perhaps evan a little "droolly."

Yep, Dammann even corrects himself in some of the later volumes for earlier volumes. However, I have to go by something until proven wrong otherwise. One source isn't the best way, but one source may be my only horse. And I don't mean it to sound like "Ha, Ha you are wrong, it says right here ...." I just mean it as my justification for doing something as opposed to thinking I just pulled it out of the air or other places. I strive to be correct even if I fall on my face.

Hopefully Mr. Kindred shares the making of the card. I could make one if I had a good visual source and dimensions. Alas, I have found none.

I'd love to have and would appreciate having your latest draft of pharmacy notes. You have my e-mail, but let me know if you can't remember it and I will send it to you.

Again, much thanks.

hanktrent
10-21-2007, 07:06 PM
3. "Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine Instruments and Equipment Volume III" by Dr. Gordon Dammann, page 52 upper left corner. "Clear glass medicine bottle marked 'Spiritus Absolutus' or Hospital Brandy."

Don't have Volume III to look at, but "spiritus absolutus" doesn't sound like it would refer to brandy. Not a real common medical ingredient, but absolute alcohol would be pure alcohol, or 99%ish, and that's what spiritus absolutus sounds like, though I can't find a specific period definition of that Latin phrase.

The U.S. Pharmacopoeia defined "alcohol" (rectified spirit to the British) as specific gravity 0.835. "When this is once more cautiously distilled, it will be further purified from water, and the sp. gr. attained will be about 0.825, which is the lightest spirit which can be obtained by ordinary distillation, and is the pure spirit or alcohol of the British system of excise. It still, however, contains eleven per cent. of water. In the mean while, the spirit, by these repeated distillations, becomes more and more freed from the contaminating oil, called grain oil or fusel oil... When free from water it is called anhydrous or absolute alcohol." (1851 US Dispensatory p. 61)

So unless you've got some other information that shows spiritus absolutus actually does refer to brandy, I'd say that yes, it certainly sounds like an apropriate name for an ingredient, but a very rare ingredient that the average surgeon would probably not have knocking around in his field kit and that couldn't be administered like brandy due to its excess strength.

Here's an 1873 book that defines "spiritus absolutus" from the German pharmacopoeia as "absolute alcohol": http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moa;cc=moa;g=moagrp;xc=1;xg=1;q1=spiritus%20 absolutus;op2=and;op3=and;rgn=works;idno=AJX6365.0 001.001;didno=AJX6365.0001.001;view=image;seq=0000 0327

For information on period medicine names, there are lots of good books at both Making of America and Google Books. I think Google Books may even have the 1851 Dispensatory I quoted above online now.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Jas. Cox
10-21-2007, 08:52 PM
I removed the the angled forceps and the dental scraper from my kit. The forceps are now part of my geocaching kit. As a concession on the hat, I sadly :( removed the "MS Insignia" from my slouch. It makes it multi-branch functional now anyway. The labels on the bottles will come eventually.

Jas. Cox
10-21-2007, 08:59 PM
.... (1851 US Dispensatory p. 61)

...

For information on period medicine names, there are lots of good books at both Making of America and Google Books. I think Google Books may even have the 1851 Dispensatory I quoted above online now.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

I don't know about the specific book mentioned, I will have to search, but they do have "The Dispensatory of The United States of America" Sixteenth Edition by H.C. Wood, M.D., LL.D., et al. I've already downloaded that.

Thank you for the information and resource tip.

Jas. Cox
10-24-2007, 11:32 PM
Okay, I figured it out now with the insert image icon.

http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt1.jpg

http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt2.jpg

http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt3.jpg

NoahBriggs
10-25-2007, 06:05 AM
Something tells me I've seen that setup somewhere before . . . ;)

It would make an interesting still life . . . Symphony #62 - Study in Grey and Red

Nicely done!

Jas. Cox
12-22-2007, 10:11 AM
Well kids, here is my revised, streamlined portable roll-up, instrument kit. I finally received my Ed Archer Straight Scalpel and Straight Forceps/Bullet Extractor (small) with bonus very small tourniquet. Better yet, I received authentic, if not totally 19th Century, instruments through the generosity of Jon and the Funeral Museum (including, but not limited to, the ivory-handled bistoury and the actual suturing needles).

http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt1.jpg

http://www.philosophic-photo.com/assets/cwt2.jpg

cwdoc45
12-23-2007, 05:21 AM
I have used liquid paper. By dipping the tip, letting it dry, & dipping it again like you would make a candle. This gives you a nice white proble tip & when it wears off, it is cheep to replace.

cwmed
12-23-2007, 08:12 AM
looks good!!!!!!! keep working!!!


Luke Castleberry

Jas. Cox
12-23-2007, 09:47 AM
I have used liquid paper. By dipping the tip, letting it dry, & dipping it again like you would make a candle. This gives you a nice white proble tip & when it wears off, it is cheep to replace.

That just might work and what else is one going to do with liquid paper (AKA White Out) these days?

Thank you for the "tip."

funhistory
12-24-2007, 03:38 AM
Jim,

I looked at the photos, and thought, "wait a minute...this looks familiar." I'm glad that i could help. Your kit looks great. I'll still continue to watch for other items. BTW, where did you obtain the leather wallet?

Jas. Cox
12-24-2007, 09:08 AM
Jim,

... BTW, where did you obtain the leather wallet?

Jon,

I don't know why any of it should look familiar. ;)

The "Double Instrument Roll-Up" was purchased from Dixie Leather Works.

http://www.dlwleathers.com/Pages/ProductDetails.asp?ProductID=2007

NoahBriggs
01-02-2008, 05:33 AM
Picture 2:

1. Why doth the razor raise thy eyebrow? While not a medical instrument per se, I could see it being used to cut bandages, "purge, blister and bleed," shave an area before surgery (kidding), etc. Again to sight [sic] Dr. Gordon Dammann, "Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine Instruments and Equipment Volume I" page 27 looks like there may be a razor in the kit. I'm not for sure.

My critique has come back to haunt me. You cited Dr. Dammamm as your source for having a razor in the rollup kit. You joked it could be used to shave the wounded area of the body free of body hair.

My next argument would be the possibility the razor had been added to the kit post-war. That's still possible for that particular kit.

However, I have been reading through Sargent's book on dressings and minor surgery. Turns out on page 28 (of the book, not Google's PDF numbering system) that -


In addition to the instruments above enumerated, the pocket-case may be made to include a spatula, a double canula with its wire, a seton-needle and a razor. These, however, are not so essentialelements of the case, as those before mentioned; generally they can be dispensed with, . . .

Emphasis added by me.

So - it looks like a razor could be included at the physician's discretion, should he feel the need for one. Also assuming, of course the physician in question read the book and took the advice.

The book in general is a good read so far - no fluff, just straight descriptions of bandages, plasters, dry cupping and the like. Very useful stuff.

jimmip
01-02-2008, 06:32 AM
Just wanted to say Noah has and is a great help. I haven't talked w/ him lately, surgery last part of the year put me out the rest of the season. But he is huge ball of information. PS, Noah, I'd like a copy of your pharmacy notes also. I'm new to the medical side of reenacting and when I asked silly questions, I can't remember him putting me down. With that said, looking at Archer's site, does anyone know if he's still making his roll-up kits? I have tried contacting him w/ no luck. If anyone knows of another way, other that pestering him, to contact him.

thanks

Jim Pribula

NoahBriggs
01-02-2008, 07:07 AM
Jim,

Please contact me offlist at bluemasscat at gmail . com for the notes. I'll have to send them this evening; I don't have themm with me right at the moment.

Archer: Hard to contact for a variety of reasons, most of which remain a mystery to me. From what I understand he does not make the true rollups anymore; he makes the "pocket" kits instead. (If you can cram a wooden box into your pocket.)

A couple of us on this forum have found another leather worker who will create the leather rollup packet if you send him reference photos and the instruments you want in the rollup. I've also seen a kid who made his own - soft glovelike leather and green felt, with all the straps and the like. Don't ask me where he got his materials or how he made it; it seems he reverse-engineered a rollup kit from a photo and whipped it up to his own instruments' standards.

jimmip
01-02-2008, 12:12 PM
Thanks Noah. I'll get w/ you and get more information on the kits also.


Jim Pribula

Jas. Cox
01-02-2008, 02:59 PM
... However, I have been reading through Sargent's book on dressings and minor surgery. Turns out on page 28 (of the book, not Google's PDF numbering system) that -

[I]
In addition to the instruments above enumerated, the pocket-case may be made to include a spatula, a double canula with its wire, a seton-needle and a razor. These, however, are not so essentialelements of the case, as those before mentioned; generally they can be dispensed with, . . .

Emphasis added by me.

So - it looks like a razor could be included at the physician's discretion, should he feel the need for one. Also assuming, of course the physician in question read the book and took the advice.
...

Which of course physician Jas. Cox read in the library of the physician from whom he apprenticed.;)


You cited Dr. Dammamm as your source for having a razor in the rollup kit.

Actually I think I just cited Dr. Dammann as the source for the bottled labeled "Spiritus Absolutus." The razor I just thought might be useful. And now as you have pointed out it may indeed have been so. I would think that a lot of instruments of 19th Century medicine would have incorporated practicality.

Thank you for letting us know that such a thing was possible.

Jas. Cox
01-03-2008, 03:28 AM
... Actually I think I just cited Dr. Dammann as the source for the bottled labeled "Spiritus Absolutus." The razor I just thought might be useful. And now as you have pointed out it may indeed have been so. I would think that a lot of instruments of 19th Century medicine would have incorporated practicality.

I awoke last night in a literal panic and thought, "maybe I did write something about Dr. Dammann's book and the razor." I just checked and it looks like I did. I appologize. I very much dislike stating incorrect information.