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Medical Museum: Porter Medical Bag

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | December 01, 2012
The picture and description appear courtesy of Dr. M. Donald Blaufox, M.D., Ph.D, from his website:

Each month we visit Dr. Blaufox’s Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts to take a look back at the medical equipment that cleared the way for what patients encounter in doctors’ offices and operating rooms of today. Some equipment may be recognizable, while other inventions featured here have since become obsolete or have had their usefulness discredited.

Category: Medicine Chest
Estimated Date: 1870
Name: Porter Medical Bag
Description: This medical bag is from the practice of Dr. William Porter. Additional detailed images of its contents can be found by searching for Porter. Dr.Porter lived from 1830-1894 and practiced in Surry NH from 1853. He studied with his brother Dr. Winslow Porter in Alstead. He attended lectures at Harvard from 1851-1852and graduated Old Worcester (Mass) Medical School in 1853. In Surry he served as town clerk, postmaster, treasurer, representative to the general court, school board, trustee of the library and master of the grange. He married Clementine Bach in 1854. The stethoscope from the bag is shown in that category on this site. Another is shown at this link. The cupping glass from the bag can be seen elsewhere. There were also obstetric instruments in the bag including a Smellie’s Forceps. Other interesting objects in the bag included a glass rectal speculum. And another possibly vaginal.. The ink eraser-bleeder is shown in another category. One of the photos shows the wide variety of objects that are in the bag and are no longer used including two 8.5” wooden dowels with cloth ends that were used as throat swabs to apply medication.

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