Stomach Pump

Description (Brief)
The practice of lavage was particularly popular in the late nineteenth century. Stomach and enema pumps were used to wash out the stomach as well as for the administration of medicinals for every imaginable type of ailment from gastritis to consumption to cancer. Sometimes plai water was used, often various medicinals were added such as bicarbonate of soda carbolic acid, or tincture of myrrh.
This instrument was made by Vanwyck W. Brinckerhoff of New York who was active from 1856 to 1869. The case is made of mahogany, and has a brass lock and sliding closure. The brass escutcheon on the lid is engraved "U.S.A. HOSPT DEP". The interior of the case is lined with red velvet. The brass pump has a wooden handle is brass three ivory and brass nozzles, two tubes and a wooden mouth gag.
This set is similar to one illustrated in the 1889 edition of the George Tiemann & Co., surgical catalogue American Armamentarium Chirurgicum on page 293.
Currently not on view
Object Name
stomach pump
date made
Brinckerhoff, V. W.
Physical Description
wood (pump material)
rubber (accessories material)
wood (accessories material)
fiber (accessories material)
ivory/bone (accessories material)
fabric (case material)
metal (case material)
wood (case material)
metal (accessories material)
metal (key material)
metal (pump material)
overall: 3 in x 11 3/4 in x 6 3/8 in; 7.62 cm x 29.845 cm x 16.1925 cm
overall: 2 3/4 in x 11 3/4 in x 6 1/4 in; 6.985 cm x 29.845 cm x 15.875 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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 College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Additional Media

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