Hey's Surgical Saw


William Hey (1736–1819), a surgeon in Leeds, presented this type of saw in his Practical Observations in Surgery (London, 1803), noting that he had used one for cranial operations for twenty years and found it much more useful than the trephine. The form, he noted, “was first shewn to me by Mr. (now Dr.) Cockell, an ingenious practitioner at Pontefract, to whom the public is indebted for the discovery, or revival, of this excellent instrument.”

This example was used during the Civil War by Lt. Col. William Irvin Wolfley, a surgeon with the 62nd Ohio Infantry. The “GEMRIG” inscription refers to a surgical instrument firm in Philadelphia that was established by Jacob S. Gemrig, a German cutler who arrived in the U.S. ca. 1830, and that was continued by his son, John H. Gemrig.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Elizabeth F. Wolfley, Eleanor Wolfley Bisell, Caroline Wolfley Shannon and Elizabeth Wolfley Harman

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.112986.01.31Accession Number: 112986Catalog Number: 112986.01.31M-02999

Object Name: Sawsawsurgical setOther Terms: Saw; Cutting Tool; Skull

Physical Description: metal, steel (overall material)wood, ebony (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 1.27 cm x 19.05 cm x 3.81 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a8-e2cb-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1054467

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