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CIVIL WAR ERA WOODEN SHOULDER or COLLAR BONE SPLINT – EXCELLENT, LIKE NEW CONDITION - MAKER MARKED - SCARCE EARLY MEDICAL PIECE:  This original Civil War era Shoulder or Collar Bone Splint was patented and manufactured by Dr. Almiron M. Day of Bennington, Vermont.  Apparently securing his patents during the mid 1850’s through the mid 1860’s, Dr. Day’s splints were generally used in the army hospitals during the Civil War.   

This is as good a place as any to plead the limits of my medical knowledge, as I am not sure what the exact application of this splint was, however from its shape and design, it was apparently intended to be used over the shoulders and across the back of the neck. 

Dr. Day’s splints are described and pictured on page 73 of Dr. Dammann’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instruments and Equipment, Volume One, and again on page 76 of Volume Two by the same title, , however this particular model is not shown in either volume, perhaps indicating this shoulder splint is considerably more scarce than the common arm and leg splints.   

Having survived the passage of time in remarkable condition, this splint measures 18” long and 6 ¾” wide at the center.  The metal fittings on each end are stamped with Dr. Day’s patent information and dated July 5, 1853, well before the Civil War.   The splint shows little sign of having been used, retaining the original varnish finish and all of the metal fittings for securing the splint with ties.  On one end is attached a 1 ¼” wide woven band that features a padded swell for securing the splint under the arm pit.  The other end retains a section of the same sort of band, but the padded section with the rest of the band is no longer with the piece.  This missing section could be replicated with little effort if you so desired.  The under side of the splint retains the original velvet or mole skin like material lining which probably helped keep the piece in place and prevented it from sliding.  

This is a very unusual splint from before the Civil War, and from all appearances fairly rare, and this piece will certainly be an important addition to a Civil War display or any 19th Century Medical display.  $400



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