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Surgical instrument set, United States, 1939-1945

This array of gruesome looking instruments made from stainless steel form a specialised kit used to surgically repair fractures and perform amputations in army field hospitals or medical units even nearer to the frontline. Being made from stainless steel, the instruments were easy to sterilise. Storing it in a canvas roll makes it easy to carry. Each instrument has an outline drawn on to the canvas so it is a simple job to replace the item. The instruments were made by various American surgical instrument makers for use by medical and surgical teams attached to the United States Army during the Second World War.

Object number:

1989-281

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Glossary:

Glossary: surgical instrument set

Set of instruments to be used for surgery. A physician would often build up their own collection of favoured tools in order to feel as comfortable as possible when carrying out surgery.

Glossary: sterilisation

To make an object free of live bacteria or other micro-organisms. Usually achieved by heat or chemical means.

Glossary: aseptic

Free from bacterial contamination; surgically sterile or sterilized.