Lot 392    

Itinerant Physician Dr. Abel Wilder Traveling Pocket Surgical Kits
2010, American History, Including the Civil War, June 11
Wilder, Abel (1786-1866). Born in Ashburnham, Mass., Dr. Abel Wilder studied the science of medicine at the New Salem Academy and went on to attend lectures at Dartmouth before enrolling at Princeton in 1809. For the next fifty odd years he wandered the New England countryside on horseback and practiced medicine. His traveling surgical kits reflect the range of his experiences and contain medical instruments dating from the late 1700s up until the 1850s. The lot includes two leather surgical folding pouches and one leather case lined with green velvet. The kits include a varied selection of scalpels, knives, bistouries, probes, lancets, needles, depressors, directors, catheters, tweezers, forceps, and other instruments. The instruments are made of steel, brass, and tortoise shell, and bear the markings of several American and European makers including Fosbrook, Walther & Co. of Boston, N. Hunt of Boston, Bailey, and Evans, plus hallmarks of a crown and an anchor & star. At one point Dr. Wilder's kits were tagged and displayed in a local historical society display by his physician grandson, Charles Dupuy, whose practice and residence were in Indiana. A wonderful display of surgical instruments, found exactly as they were used in the field and on house calls.

Condition:  
The leather kits show obvious wear from use, and some of the tortoise shell handles are chipped, otherwise all in excellent condition.
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