OldTools Archive

Recent Search Bios FAQ

269669 Thomas Conroy 2020‑01‑14 Re: Can anybody ID this device?
Eric Coyle posted a whatsit:


and said: "With the handle so clean. I'm (just guessing) at ruling out
device, also surgical( wooden handle)."
Don't rule out medical because of a wood handle. Before Lister demonstrated
antiseptic surgical technique in the late 1860s, no one bothered about
cleanliness in surgery; surgical instruments often had checkered wooden handles.
And it took decades before the germ theory was accepted generally. Also, 19th-
century surgeons were notoriously fond of inventing new surgical instruments,
and variations on old instruments, which the surgical instrument makers were
happy ot make up for them in one or two examples; when a new tool caught the
medical community's fancy, it could make the reputation of a surgeon, and a
whole lot of money for the company that made it. The level of craftsmanship and
finish on surgical tools was exceptionally high; we all know about the fine
woodworkers who used cast-off bone saws for dovetailing because of their high

I don't know if the whatsis is surgical; I'm just saying, don't rule out
surgical origin.
Tom Conroy

Recent Search Bios FAQ