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CIVIL WAR FIELD TOURNIQUET – IN LIKE NEW, UNUSED CONDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPER:  One of the more necessary, and certainly the most immediate, medical instrument that was employed to treat the terrible wounds suffered by the Civil War soldier on the battlefield, these Field Tourniquets were part of the basic medical equipment of every Civil War regimental surgeon and his staff.    

Identical to the examples pictured on pages 30 and 31 of Dr. Dammann’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instruments and Equipment, Volume One, this tourniquet is also identical to a very few other specimens of "Field Tourniquets" that have appeared on the market through the years, and all are likely from the same original package of one dozen pieces that was discovered intact many years ago.  All of the specimens still in the paper wrapper all bear the same hand written ink inscription "FIELD TOURNIQUET", all written in the same hand, indicating the same person at the manufacturer wrote this notation on each tourniquet.   

One of these tourniquets I had at one time had been removed from the wrapper and it was exactly the same size, form and configuration as all of those still in the wrapper that I have had.  The cloth strap was coiled around the brass buckle and pad and was secured with a straight pin.  The side of the brass buckle was stamped with the manufacturer’s name, “Tienchken”. (See photograph below of this unwrapped tourniquet.)

Given the consistency of the appearance of all of these, I believe these surviving examples were all made by the same manufacturer -“Tiencken” - Julius Tiencken of New York.  Tiencken is known to have secured a contract to produce surgical sets for the US Hospital Department during the Civil War.  The firm was relatively small, hence his production was necessarily small, and today his medical equipment is considered to be far from common and is actively sought by collectors.    

Literally in like new condition, this tourniquet is still in the original string tied paper wrapper which bears the hand written legend “Field Tourniquet”.  The wrapper is fully intact and shows no sign of ever having been disturbed or opened.  There is one small pin hole, likely where the paper was pressed against one of the sharp corners of the brass buckle.  Otherwise, this is an excellent example and could not be upgraded. 

These field tourniquets are a scarce item, and finding one with the original wrapper is notable.  (1007) $595

NOTE:  A special note of thanks is due to Dr. Michael Echols, owner of American Civil War Medical & Surgical Antiques for his time and assistance in identifying and properly dating these tourniquets.  Dr. Echol’s web site is well worth visiting - - even if your primary interest field is not medical antiques – if nothing else, it will make you appreciate modern medicine.



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