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M-575 Civil War Surgical Kit

ABSTRACT: Surgical kit from the American Civil War, circa 1860.

SCOPE: This Civil War surgical kit is housed in a wooden box lined with fabric. The kit contains a few Minié balls in addition to several instruments used in battlefield medicine, including a tourniquet, a bone saw, probes, knives, a small chain saw, tweezers, and forceps. Several of the instruments are engraved with the name Kuemerle.

EXTENT: 1.37 linear feet.

HISTORY: This surgical kit was made by John F. Kuemerle, a surgical instrument maker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Based on the estimated number of physicians allowed to perform surgeries during the war, this kit was likely utilized in at least 100 amputations on Union soldiers.

ACCESS: Due to the fragile nature of this collection, physical access may be restricted. Please contact the library for further information. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ north campus.

PREFERRED CITATION: The preferred citation for this collection is “From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis."