Fracture Apparatus

by Sandra Yates
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

I was going through the photograph files today, looking for some interesting images for our up coming centennial celebration, and I came across a envelope labeled “Fracture Apparatus, c. 1890s.” Obviously, I had to take a look! There were four negative images from the George Tiemann & Co.’s Surgical Instruments catalog, published in 1889. Oh my, the contraptions and the description are amazing! I almost believe I can put these apparatuses together like IKEA furniture.

"Buck's apparatus, for suspending the upper limbs, is made of iron tubing; its upright portion is fastened by clamps at the head of the bedstead and its lower portion overhangs the bed and holds suspended at its extremity a flattened strip of hard wood, on the upper edge of which a row of screw-heads serves for fastening the ends of the canvas bands that suspend the limb. The strip of wood that supports the limb plays horizontally on a swivel-joint at the extremity of the iron tubing. For suspending the lower limbs five-eighth inch iron tubing is bent, in the manner shown by the picture. The horizontal portion overhanging the bed is supported by two upright iron rods resting upon the mattress astraddle of the thigh. A row of screw-heads inserted along the outer surface of the horizontal portion serves for fastening the end of the canvas bands that suspend the limb. The upright portion of the apparatus is securely fastened to the two cross-rods at the foot of the bedstead by clamps, and can be adjusted at any required height. The suspending bands are of stout sail-cloth canvas, cut of any required length and width, and buttoned on the the screw-heads by slits cut for the purpose. The canvas being very strong does not tear, and will sustain any weight it has to bear"

Buck’s Suspension Apparatus: “for suspending the upper limbs, is made of iron tubing; its upright portion is fastend by clamps at the head of the bedstead and its lower portion overhangs the bed and holds suspended at its extremity a flattened strip of hard wood, on the upper edge of which a row of screw-heads serves for fastening the ends of the canvas bands that suspend the limb. The strip of wood that supports the limb plays horizontally on a swivel-joint at the extremity of the iron tubing. For suspending the lower limbs five-eighth inch iron tubing is bent, in the manner shown by the picture. The horizontal portion overhanging the bed is supported by two upright iron rods resting upon the mattress astraddle of the thigh. A row of screw-heads inserted along the outer surface of the horizontal portion serves for fastening the end of the canvas bands that suspend the limb. The upright portion of the apparatus is securely fastened to the two cross-rods at the foot of the bedstead by clamps, and can be adjusted at any required height. The suspending bands are of stout sail-cloth canvas, cut of any required length and width, and buttoned on the the screw-heads by slits cut for the purpose. The canvas being very strong does not tear, and will sustain any weight it has to bear” [“The American armamentarium chirurgicum” by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.]

Buck's Extension "consists of: 1st. Two bands of heavy adhesive plaster, to which are attached the necessary buckle and elastic webbing. 2d. A perineal band, for counter extension, made of heavy rubber tubing, with straps, buckles and rings. 3d. Four guttered coaptation splints, leather covers; three elastic straps with buckles for fastening the same. 4th. One pulley, one bag for shot and some strong fishing line." ["The American armamentarium chirurgicum" by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.]

Buck’s Extension “consists of: 1st. Two bands of heavy adhesive plaster, to which are attached the necessary buckle and elastic webbing. 2d. A perineal band, for counter extension, made of heavy rubber tubing, with straps, buckles and rings. 3d. Four guttered coaptation splints, leather covers; three elastic straps with buckles for fastening the same. 4th. One pulley, one bag for shot and some strong fishing line.” [“The American armamentarium chirurgicum” by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.]

Coaptation Splints ["The American armamentarium chirurgicum" by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.]

Coaptation Splints [“The American armamentarium chirurgicum” by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.]

Sayre's Extension Sundries: "...consisting of two stout tapes, A, adjusted through button holes to the cross-piece, C. The ends of A are attached to the plaster secured to the limb, and C very nearly approaches the sole of the foot. To C is attached a strong cord, to run over the pulley B. To the end of the cord is to be attached a bag, as shown..." ["The American armamentarium chirurgicum" by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical]

Sayre’s Extension Sundries: “…consisting of two stout tapes, A, adjusted through button holes to the cross-piece, C. The ends of A are attached to the plaster secured to the limb, and C very nearly approaches the sole of the foot. To C is attached a strong cord, to run over the pulley B. To the end of the cord is to be attached a bag, as shown…” [“The American armamentarium chirurgicum” by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical]

"The American armamentarium chirurgicum" by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.

“The American armamentarium chirurgicum” by George Tiemann & Co., page 577. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.

"The American armamentarium chirurgicum" by George Tiemann & Co. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.

“The American armamentarium chirurgicum” by George Tiemann & Co., page 582-583. McGovern Reference Collection, McGovern Historical Center.

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Posted in Medical Archives, Special Collections

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