It is quite a while after Christmas, but as per tradition, a good friend of mine and I had our 'second Christmas'. Not actually Christmas, but rather our opportunity to give each other Christmas gifts, since we're never together on the same day (what with celebrating with our own families and such). It's always nice to spend the day together and exchange our proudly chosen gifts for each other, and watch the others' eyes glisten and faces light up. All the while drinking tea, of course.
He constantly surprises me with the things he manages to find for me. One year for my birthday he gave me a fox pelt and a book on antiquity torture devices (16th-18th century eras). I know, I know, these are both really weird things, and few people would get excited over either of these things, little alone a combination of the two. However, as we may or may not have established, I'm an odd person, with an extremely extensive list of interests. Result? People give me dead things and antiques for holidays and birthdays (I love you all!).
This year, he gave me the following:
What is it? Well. It is a vintage (borderline antique) medical bag, with a nice collection of contents. The bag came from a Canadian doctor, and most of the contents are from the 1950s-60s. The bag looks older, but regardless, I'm thrilled to death to own something like this. However, it is old and from the medical field, so I wash my hands thoroughly after handling it. Safety first!
Inside the bag are many small instruments and medical tools.
-One glass instrument used for the De Lee method of resuscitating newborns
-One dissecting knife handle (for brain and autopsy blades), with two blades
-One medical sewing needle
-One surgical clamp
-One pair of surgical scissors
-One needle for a syringe (in original vial with rubber stopper)
The ones that interest me most are the medical sewing needle (I've always had a thing for medical and surgical sewing needles. I constantly have my eye on Civil War era surgical sewing kits), and the glass instrument for newborn resuscitation. The latter is requiring some digging to learn about it, but it's in the original box, and it's a beautifully made glass item. I don't know how to describe it, and I don't have the best set up for photographing glass (and in general I'm not the best at it). STILL. I did some research (not much, but a start) and it looks like the De Lee method came to around between the early 1900s and 1940s. The box looks quite old, and I have my fingers crossed for 20s or 30s. I need to do way more research, because researching uncommon anything is like digging for the Oak Island treasure. Though, you might have a slightly better chance with finding uncommon information, what with the internet. What a tool!
Any ways, I can't express how thankful I am. It's a really inspiring object to have around. That sounds weird. But for me, a person who wants to be an embalmer or an anatomist, and who has always been fascinated with the medical, the macabre, and history, I just like having old things around. And medical antiques? Even better!
Maybe some day soon I'll go through and describe all of my most interesting antiques in full. Most of which I need to research more. Soon...