Gerbro Red Wool Flannel Bandage, Item No. 20030, 3 in. x 5 yds.


Gerstein Bros. Mfg. Corp. made a wide range of medical bandages: Muslin, Triangular, Compressed, Camouflaged, Dyed; plain cotton and wool flannel. The company was a supplier to the US Medical Department during WWII. Red Cross nursing manuals from the 1910s state that red flannel was preferred to white for bandaging rheumatic joints, presumably because the dye had some medical value. The color red was associated with healing according to the Encyclopedia of Folk Medicine. Red flannel bandages were used for wrapping injuries and for backaches, and were considered efficacious in preventing and treating infectious diseases such as whooping cough, scarlet fever, and smallpox. By the early twentieth century, the red flannel bandage was firmly entrenched in medical practice although the medicinal advantage of the color was no longer recognized.

Manufacturer: Gerstein Bros. Mfg. Corp.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: American Textile History Museum

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2017.0234.22Catalog Number: 2017.0234.22Accession Number: 2017.0234

Object Name: bandage, wool, rolled

Physical Description: wool flannel (overall material)paper (packaging material)Measurements: overall: 6 cm x 8 cm x 7.5 cm; 2 3/8 in x 3 5/32 in x 2 15/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1847701

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