Surgical Set

Description (Brief)
This surgical set belonged to Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, the founder of osteopathic medicine. It is thought he studied medicine with his father a Methodist preacher and physician. At the start of the American Civil War he enlisted as a steward in the 9th Kansas Calvary.
Not all surgical sets used during the Civil War were commissioned by the United States Army. At the beginning of the conflict both the northern and southern armies lacked sufficient supplies including medical equipment. Doctors often brought their own instruments with them when they enlisted. Notes in the accession file indicate that this set was used by Dr. Andrew Still during the Civil War. Additional objects were donated to the Smithsonian by the Still family including books and photographs for an exhibition about osteopathy.
This set contains: Three(3) Knives; Two(2) Trephines; One(1) Handle; One (1) Brush; One(1) Tourniquet; One(1) Hook; Three(3) Saws; One(1) Gouge/Elevator; One(1) Needle.
Currently not on view
Object Name
surgical set
date made
ca 1862-1868
associated dates
Tolle & Degenhardt
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
ebony (overall material)
velvet (overall material)
steel (overall material)
blue (overall color)
average spatial: 8 cm x 40.1 cm x 20.3 cm; 3 1/8 in x 15 13/16 in x 8 in
overall: 3 1/8 in x 16 in x 8 in; 7.9375 cm x 40.64 cm x 20.32 cm
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
associated place
United States: District of Columbia
United States: Missouri, Kirksville
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Surgical instruments
Health & Medicine
Civil War Surgical Sets
Civil War
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Civil War Surgical Sets
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. George A. Still
Additional Media

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