Publications Medical & Scientific Instruments (also found under Surgery)

The Centennial Edition of American Armamentarium Chirurgicum (1889) by George Tiemann & Co.

The Centennial Edition of American Armamentarium Chirurgicum (1889) George Tiemann & Co.

Tiemann’s largest and most comprehensive surgical-instrument catalogue, in a facsimile reprint of the best edition, limited to 1000 copies, with over 3400 text illustrations and a definitive illustrated 65-page introduction on Tiemann & Co. and its importance to American surgery. The 1889 Tiemann & Co. catalogue represents the zenith of American surgical instrument trade literature in the pre-aseptic era, illustrating virtually every instrument then in use. An indispensable reference tool for the collector.

With a new introduction by James M. Edmonson, PhD, and F. Terry Hambrecht, MD

65, 846pp. 4414 illus. 8" × 11".
Cloth, acid-free paper. ISBN 0-930405-23-4.
Norman Surgery Series No. 6. NP14727.

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James M. Edmonson, PhD

About the Editors

James M. Edmonson, PhD, is Curator of the Dittrick Museum of Medical History and teaches the history of medicine at the School of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. A graduate of the College of Wooster, he received an MA and PhD in the history of technology at the University of Delaware. While at Delaware he was a Hagley Fellow and a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in Paris, France, and his dissertation, From mécanicien to ingenieur: Technical Education and the Machine Building Industry in Nineteenth Century France (Garland Publishing, 1986) received the Sypherd Prize for outstanding dissertation in the humanities. Since becoming Curator at the Dittrick Museum he has written on medical museology, the impact of asepsis upon surgical instrumentation, endoscopy, and medical patents. His publications other than American Surgical Instruments include Nineteenth Century Surgical Instruments: A Catalogue of the Gustav Weber Collection at the Howard Dittrick Museum of Historical Medicine (1986) and introductions for the following reprint editions from Norman Publishing of San Francisco: Charles Truax, The Mechanics of Surgery (1899) (1988); George Tiemann and Company, The Centennial Edition of American Armamentarium Chirurgicum (1889) (1989); and Surgical and Dental Instrument Catalogues from the Civil War Era: Snowden and Brother (1860) and John Weiss and Son (1863) (1997).

F. Terry Hambrecht received his BS in electrical engineering from Purdue University, his MS in electrical engineering from MIT, and his MD from The Johns Hopkins University. He is presently head of the neuroprosthesis program at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. His research interests include neural prostheses, application of biomedical engineering to diagnosis and therapy of human disorders, history of medical technology, and history of nineteenth-century American medicine and surgery. He is the author of over 60 scientific and historical papers.


“The current publishers have brought out this facsimile edition…and a magnificent job they have done with it!…a fascinating excursion back in time.…”

—From The Bulletin of the History of Dentistry 38, no. 2 (October 1990): 44–45

“Tiemann, born in Lower Saxony in 1793, emigrated to America in 1826. Shortly after arriving he opened a cutlery shop in Lower Manhattan. By the end of the century the company, George Tiemann & Co., now run by two of Tiemann’s relatives, had become the most distinguished manufacturer and retailer of surgical instruments in the United States. It is the company’s mammoth catalogue of 1889 which is reprinted here. As in many other surgical-instrument catalogues of this period, the articles for sale include not only surgical devices but technological items pertaining to nearly all aspects of medical practice. The present reprint has a scholarly and helpful introduction describing the history of the company and the nineteenth-century surgical-instrument trade in America. Tiemann’s catalogue merits interest as more than a convenient and picturesque record of the medical technology available in 1889. For the catalogue itself deserves attention as a state-of-the-art sales device. Sumptuously produced (as is the expensive and limited reprint), copiously illustrated, extensively annotated, perfectly indexed; how many medical men browsing through it could have resisted acquiring slices of modernity surplus to their requirements?”

—From Medical History 34(4): October 1990, 473 ©The Trustee, The Wellcome Trust George

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