Thursday, March 27, 2014

Surgery during the 19th Century

I'm sorry this post comes late today. I was out of town for the past two day helping my parents while my dad had to have a second procedure on his thumb. He nearly cut it off several months back with his table saw. Yesterday's surgery was to try and improve the flexibility of the thumb. In the end the surgeon was pleased with the op and is hopeful. We're continuing to pray that dad will regain full use of his thumb. My dad works with his hands, even though he is retired he is quite active.

All of that is to say why I picked this topic. I found a great resource and wanted to share it with all of you. It is Illustrated Manual of Operative Surgery and Surgical Anatomy ©1864

What I love about this book is the illustrations. There are illustrations of the tools used, some of which have not changed much, others you might find very crude but it is what they had to work with at the time. They also give a brief name and description of each of the tools. Unfortunately it is a poor scanned copy of the book but it is readable. It is a good tool to give a quite overview of what you might be looking for if your character is in need of surgery. Or what kind of surgery might have been performed on your characters during the Civil War.

If your story is set before the war you might be interested in A Dictionary of Practical Surgery ©1823

Another source for much later in the 19th Century is Pye's Surgical Handicraft ©1893

And for those characters who might be delivering a baby here's a link to Obstetric Surgery ©1895

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