Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cutting-Edge Surgical Tech of the 1800s

"1800s Surgical Kit - Unboxing"
medGadget (May 20, 2009)

"We don't often unbox things here at MedGadget. For whatever reason, Phillips and GE keep forgetting to mail us their latest CT scanners for review. And Intuitive Surgical, where's our da Vinci? We need something to make our morning lattes. That being said, recently we got our hands on a wonderfully preserved, rare 1800s surgical kit, made by the famous pre-civil war surgical equipment manufacturer Henry Schively out of Philadelphia, PA. We thought we'd use this opportunity to reminisce on surgery of the past, you know, before ether was given a try...."

I can't tell you how glad I am to not live in the 'good old days.'

(from medGadget, used w/o permission)

'It Slices! It Dices!

Seriously: This is a good, solid article about a particular bit of 19th century medical technology, and how things worked in those days.

"...In the late 18th century most American surgeons were buying their instruments abroad, or from agents who had imported them from England. Henry Schively (1761 - 1811) is described in Edmonson's book on American surgical instruments as 'the Premier Philadelphia surgical instrument maker of the era of heroic surgery' which was the period from 1774 to 1840. He along with a number of other local artisans (there were 50 master smiths registered in the thriving city of Philadelphia, 10 of whom were listed as 'instrument makers') contributed to Philadelphia becoming the centre of the American instrument trade...."

This article seems to be well-researched, and has several links and references to other sources.

It's not light reading: but I think it's a pretty good look at what living in 'the good old days' was like.

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