Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 20 of 20

Thread: Surgeon's smock or overcoat

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    962

    Default

    Hello,

    I thought I would chime in on the discussion by noting a few things.

    It seems from the discussion so far that some of us are trying to find a way to find out what the Original Cast should have had, based on what other people might have had. As an example the stable coats or overalls. It may seem to make sense to us, but we need to understand that the Original Cast looked at the world much differently, and their behaviors, while bizarre to us, made sense to them back in the period.

    According to a couple of informal surveys I've done on available medical requisitions I have not seen any requests for aprons. Not a one. Zip, zilch. Same thing with the formal inventories of Army Aurentieth medicine wagons for regiments. If there were aprons, then they might have been private purchases the physicians brought with them. Even then, they are not the white, Home Depot patterned ones we see surgeons wearing today. Aprons looked more like a square dishcloth with strings attached. And I've always been against the idea that the surgeons wore aprons with Texas Chainsaw-style stains on it. It just looks to theatrical and tacky.

    As Ross pointed out, there is a lack of documentation for rubber aprons being used by the Army. Here's my hypothesis why - surgeons had a bad rap in the pop media of the period as butchers. Do they really want to make more bad PR by wearing an apron that's associated with butchers?

    In all the sources I've read, the physicians of the period clearly state they wiped their blades on rags, towels, their coat tails, their sleeves, and so on. Goes against our common sense, of course, but this is pre Lister, pre-germ, as we are so quick to point out.

    I would think it would be easiest (and least expensive) to go wth the current historic record, while acknowledging there is the possibility the research will change in the future. If of course someone comes up with evidence someone used a stableman's shirt or some other smock, and can document it for that particular incident, then by all means, go for it.

    Not sarcasm, not a sermon. Just thoughts.
    Noah Briggs

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    224

    Default

    I posted this a while back. This image appears to show one surgeon with what Noah is speaking of with the dish towel on a string theory.

    1st LT Brian Schwatka
    Staff Asst Surgeon
    Medical Staff Regiment USA(Reenacted)
    Attached 3RD US Regular Infantry Co K(Reenacted)
    Attached 17th Corp Field Hospital(Reenacted)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Through a secend hand source who states the Museum of the cofederacy stated that a white linen coat or slicker type was used it could contain the rank on the collar

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    222

    Default

    Does anyone have dimensions/instructions for making an apron like this? Would it really be just a square or rectangular piece hemmed and set on tape? Would the ties be sewn to the edges of the apron skirt, or a narrow casing made on the top of the apron skirt for a drawstring tie?

    David has one of those Home Depot patterned aprons as Noah so aptly put it. The surgeon he works with has one wildly covered in fake blood. David has been more modest with his use of fake blood and this thread has been very interesting to us both. I would like to make him a more correct apron and have some linen to do it with, I just need to know if there are any particulars I should keep in mind while sewing it up. I think I'll make an extra for our surgeon as well.

    Sarah
    Sarah J. Meister

    Independent Civilian /
    Wife / Mother / Seamstress / Musician

    My Sewing Blog
    http://www.romantichistory.blogspot.com

    My Pattern Blog
    http://www.romantichistoryclothing.blogspot.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    962

    Default

    Madam,

    You have a couple of options, and both are viable and written with no sarcasm and/or malice.

    Skip the apron entirely. He can wipe the blades on a towel, rag, his sleeve. Gross? Yes. Accurate? Yes. Fake blood will wash out of clothes. Also, you will not have to worry about another sewing project on top of the ones I know you have roiling in your creative brain.

    I can send to you images of my repro apron, with the caveats:

    It's for a shopkeeper impression.

    It was sewn up fast with material onhand.

    The friend who made it may have made it too long and too wide. (See caveat 2 above.)

    You can reach me on the SA.
    Noah Briggs

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    222

    Default

    Thanks Noah. I will probably be contacting you on the SA shortly.

    The butcher type aprons seem to be a standard "uniform" for all medical impressions around here. It would be nice to get away from that if possible.

    Sarah
    Sarah J. Meister

    Independent Civilian /
    Wife / Mother / Seamstress / Musician

    My Sewing Blog
    http://www.romantichistory.blogspot.com

    My Pattern Blog
    http://www.romantichistoryclothing.blogspot.com

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,404

    Default

    This is another one of those strangely fascinating subjects with perhaps a counterintuitive answer. I just did a search on Google Books for '61-'65 and found no good reference to a military surgeon wearing an apron. There probably is one, somewhere, given the photographic evidence, but I expected to find more.

    A broader search going back to 1840 uncovered some references to civilian surgeons wearing aprons, especially British and French (including an observation that French doctors wore aprons while making hospital rounds -- apparently a curiosity to the observer). One of the sources mentions the need to change between operations so as not to alarm the next patient, but this raises practical issues for the military surgeon.

    As Noah points out, the medical supply tables for the US army don't mention aprons or smocks, though they do have gutta percha cloth, towels, and oiled silk. Of course, as officers the surgeons and assistant surgeons must buy all their own clothing anyway, so perhaps the supply table isn't the place to look. Obviously the surgeon in the photograph posted earlier acquired one, if only to protect his trousers.

    But a related question we should probably ask ourselves is how PEC is it for a reenactor surgeon to portray an "operator" anyway? The way divisional hospitals were set up in the US army, only a handful of the medical professionals did the actual cutting, with the great majority of those assigned either assisting, working in triage, postoperative care, overseeing supplies and cooking, or handling the paperwork. For most medical professionals an apron would just get in the way of their actual work.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    222

    Default

    Those are some intersting observations.

    Perhaps an apron is not a necessary or even valid part of the common medical reenactors gear. David portrays an asst. surgeon and from time to time does surgical demonstrations but mostly he assists the surgeon by handing him tools, etc.

    Still, I got his new apron made - thank you, Noah, for the help with that. It's a plain rectangular white linen one with tape ties, so should be useful for other impressions too.

    Sarah
    Sarah J. Meister

    Independent Civilian /
    Wife / Mother / Seamstress / Musician

    My Sewing Blog
    http://www.romantichistory.blogspot.com

    My Pattern Blog
    http://www.romantichistoryclothing.blogspot.com

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Rubberized apron available at http://wardsci.com/product.asp?pn=IG0005554

    I have not seen them in person, but they are certainly affordable.

    My question is still were they used?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Dr. Trevor Steinbach had told me in one of his period medical supply catalogs was an add for a rubber apron. I am not sure how it would compare to the one you linked to. So they did have access to them if they wished to purchase such an item.

    John Ferrannini
    Asst Surgeon
    67th NY a.k.a. 1st Long Island

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •