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

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

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Usage conditions apply
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
bandage, wool, rolled
Gerstein Bros. Mfg. Corp.
Place Made
United States
Physical Description
wool flannel (overall material)
paper (packaging material)
overall: 6 cm x 8 cm x 7.5 cm; 2 3/8 in x 3 5/32 in x 2 15/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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