Surgical Kits : Everything the traveling surgeon needed to remove or repair in one handy case

The Surgical collection at Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation includes several surgical kits ranging from elaborate kits stored in decorative wooden cases to the small leather wallet containing the basics for minor surgical needs.

The collection includes kits ranging from the 1820s, decades before the availability of anesthesia, to the 1950s.

During the 19th century, many doctors were able to perform surgery but few specialized in the field. Since there was no anesthesia, it was especially inportant for the doctor to be able to perform surgery quiclky.

A highly skilled 19th century doctor could amputate a man's leg in as little as three minutes. To the patient, this three minutes likely seemed like a VERY long time.

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Surgical Kits