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About Misson

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  1. whats on his legs

    He's wearing shorts and has dropsical legs.
  2. Living History Demos

    Alas, since I'm only going to be there for 3 days, I'm only taking a carry on to save the $25 on bags, so I won't have most of my surgical stuff. (Security seems too look dimly on little knives, let alone large knives and saws.) I may bring some dental stuff if it fits and I think it will get through security, but I don't think it will make for much of a display. I just won a complete set of dental forceps on eBay, but they're coming from England, so I don't know if they'll get here in time. I also have a blacksmith working on a pelican for me, but again, I don't know if it will be done in time.
  3. You in yar garb.

    You met Blackjohn before I did?! The world just isn't fair...
  4. On Making a Medicine Chest

    I may have to take that back. I was thinking about this and I recalled that surgeon's chests for the Royal Navy were sealed and locked (sealing probably would have been done with wax and the seal) to prevent the surgeon from selling the items and ingredients purchased for them. I do note that this is a little out of period, but I offer it as potential proof that the chests would have to have been capable of being locked. Certainly their design would have had to have allowed for being enclosed to be sealed. "To this end it was stated in the naval regulations in 1731 that the instrument chest of every naval surgeon had to be examined by the physician at the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich and also by the Company of Surgeons. This privilege was granted to the Surgeons in 1629 by the charter of Charles I and, for some reason was an entitlement they highly regarded and fought hard to retain. After the chest had been examined, it was to be locked ‘and the seals of the Physician and of the Surgeon’s Company to be affixed thereto in such a manner, as to prevent its being afterwards opened, before it comes on board; nor is the captain to admit any Chest into the Ship without these marks upon it.’… The chest was sealed after being examined to prevent the surgeon selling some of the instruments before he sailed in order to reimburse himself of some of the expense of its purchase. That this precaution was considered necessary again demonstrates the hardships of the young surgeons." (Goddard, Jonathan Charles, “An insight into the life of Royal Naval surgeons during the Napoleonic War, Part I", Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service, Winter 1991, p. 207-8) [Edit] Ah, but Woodall apparently sealed the chests as well! And he was pre-period, so I think we can safely say the chests could be enclosed. “[Woodall] addressed the problem of poorly stocked ships by redesigning the surgeons’ chests and implementing a system of checking each chest and sealing it before it was brought onboard.” (Hazelwood, Glen, “John Woodall: From Barber-Surgeon to Surgeon-General,” Proceedings of the 12th Annual History of Medicine Days, March 2003, 120)
  5. Driving to PIP

    For a quick disassembly of the gibbet, remove all the bolts in the middle all the way around. The middle is where three pieces of the plastic cage overlap. You can do this using a medium crescent wrench on the plastic bolt head and holding the 'spike' in your fingers. I suggest reassembling it for transport as it is flimsy with those bolts out. However, I know it takes up a lot of space, so if you want to completely disassemble it, just remove all the bolts, except the one on the bottom. It will then fold down and lay flat. (Be sure to stick the bolt-spikes in a zip-lock bag - I don't have any more of them and I don't think I could get any without buying a new gibbet.) You can see how it folds in the second group of pics on the Bucky page. Note: assembly is a complete pain-in-the, so think hard before completely disassembling it. If you gotta, you gotta, but your fingers get really sore after awhile...
  6. On Making a Medicine Chest

    Wow! Did you trace the link to the picture I originally posted back to here? Welcome! I doubt that most sea surgeon's chests would have been square as well. Sea chests are generally not square. Plus I would think a square chest would be harder to handle than a rectangular one. (Not that this would be that big of a consideration. Once the surgeon was safely ensconced in his quarters - often the orlop deck near the bottom of the ship - he probably didn't have cause to move it around a whole lot.) As Cascabel also mentioned, surgical chests would have been custom-made. They were certainly hand made, so I am guessing sizes and partitions would be adapted to the needs of the surgeon. Even if the chest that was drawn was actually square as it is shown, that drawing predates period by about 100 years. (When you're pirate re-enacting, "period" is defined as being approximately 1690 - 1725...more or less. (We argue about everything, including the dates of the golden age of piracy).) The problem is that that drawing is the only thing we have representing a surgeon's chest that's even close to the period. However, I am thinking for something along the lines that were described by John Woodall, who I have quoted above. My inclination is to visualize something along the lines of the ratio you mention...because that would be what I expect to see. (And for no other reason, to be honest. Perhaps because the Golden Ratio has been so prevalent since the Renaissance.) Yes, that's true. Still, that would be a difficult chest to man-handle below decks. I personally have doubts that the bottles were all the same size. Just as today, different elements were needed in different quantities. I notice that in reading former sea-surgeon Richard Wiseman's Eight chirurgical treatises (1696), certain elements are continuously repeated in prescriptions, while others appear infrequently. Why have large bottles for things that are not used often or which may go bad? (Woodall has much to say on elements going bad during a voyage and recommends either not bringing them or only bringing a small amount.) I half suspected that the drawing that appears in Clowe's book is as much a presentation piece as it is an actual surgeon's chest. This is interesting...: "Here, too, began his life-long friendship with John Banester, a fellow surgeon in the field wo was four years his senior, and for many years he kept by him the "surger chest", well fitted out and emblazoned with the Bear and Ragged Staff of Warwick's arms, with which he began his surgical career. Twenty-five years later, he had a drawing made of it for his book A Prooved Practice, but in the 1596 edition, this is replaced by the illustration of a new chest, decorated with the Royal coat of arms, which he probably acquired when he was appointed Surgeon to the Queen." (Gathered from the internet, St. Michael's Living History, 6/22/09) This makes it sound like there are two drawings - which, if true, I didn't know about. Either way, by the time he wrote his book, Clowes was a wealthy land-based surgeon and could afford a nice presentation chest. Land-based surgeons were in a different class entirely (especially surgeons to the queen!) and called primarily on wealthy patients - many of whom wanted nothing in common with the rabble. One of my book talks at length about how the style of eye glasses for the wealthy changed because they didn't like the fact that the common people could get the other style. So the chest may have even been designed to make Clowes more appealing to his patients. A sea-surgeon was usually just entering his career and probably couldn't afford something like Clowes would have. (I doubt the East India Company painted coats of arms inside each surgeon's chest it issued...) Well, again, I suspect this may have been a presentation piece - at least in part. That's a good point about the handles...especially for a box as large as you mention. It would have been very hard to move around. I should note that I don't actually know that there locks on surgeon's chests. I have not yet seen anything about this in my reading. I want them more to protect my tools from theft than anything else.
  7. On Making a Medicine Chest

    Possibly...I'm not sure. It's a really good guess and since that means the box could be made of anything, I like it. (I really need to find someone who is knowledgeable on the topic of 17th century medicine to bounce some of these ideas off of.) The box does contain more than plasters, as the original quote I mentioned suggests: “Of the Plaster Box and what belongeth thereto and first of the Emplasters. The Plaster boxe ought to containe at the least three kindes of several Emplasters as namely... The uses of the Instruments due to the Plaster box follow next and are these. Sizers. Forceps. Spatulae. Probes. Stitching needles and quill. Lancet. Burras pipe. Levatory. Vuula spoone.” (Woodall, p. 25) Although I have another quote that does seem to support the concept as well. "The surgeon prepared each day a dressing-box with six or eight partitions, into which went pots of balsam and oils, and plasters ready spread. This, according to Moyle, was ‘carried every Morning to the Mast between Decks where our Mortar is usually rung, that such as have any Sore or Ailment may hear in any part of the Ship, and come thithter to be dresd’.” (Keevil, John J., Medicine and the Navy 1200-1900: Volume II – 1640-1714, p. 170) Note that Keevil calls the box a 'dressing box'. I think Cascabel is right. Dutch, you have it right about the plasters. We return to humoral theory: "Then, the humours that obstinately refused to be purged or vomited away could be evacuated from the outer surface of the body, said Burton. This could be done by blood-letting- either by a surgeon’s knife, or by the use of leeches- or by the uncomfortable expedient of raising blisters by applying plasters or hot irons to the skin.“ (Williams, Guy, The Age of Agony, p. 154) Woodall actually has pages and pages of plaster recipes in his book.
  8. Driving to PIP

    Mmmm. Cafe Solé.
  9. Driving to PIP

    You should do that. Let Becky ride beside you. You get lots of funny comments from Drive Thru attendants that way. True story...When I was moving, I was driving with the skeleton that would be Becky in the passenger seat because there wasn't an ounce of space left in the car for her elsewhere. On the way, I went through the BK Drive Thru. The girl who took my order was obviously too serious to know what to do (I'm not sure why she thought she had to do anything, but she apparently did), so after she took my order, she disappeared. She returned with another girl who had my order - and who grinned like nobody's business and asked "Who's your friend? Can I get his phone number?" I thought about explaining to her that the skeleton was, in fact, a 'she', but decided against it. Instead, I just laughed. You know, I should have married that girl.
  10. Driving to PIP

    I have had many adventures following this rationale. It is instinctual and thus tribal and so should be followed. (Although I have known at least one person who died from following this rationale, as well, so maybe it's not always wise. Well, you take the good with the bad, I 'spose.) (This isn't helping, is is?)
  11. I love the PUB!

    I meant every word! Honest and for true. I have a country playlist and Toby occupies a larger percentage of the list than anyone else. (It's sort of a country party playlist.) I actually started this at one point - possibly when Jack first posted this - and then set it aside...I wonder if that's still around somewhere...? Probably not. Forget I mentioned my version, I'm all atwitter to see what you come up with. Mission (who is in no position to give assignments, just to offer suggestions)
  12. Let's talk dental hygiene

    Ah, I just stumbled across this, which may be instructive regarding period dental instruments. It's a little early for period, but the instruments were all in use during period under one description or another. (Many of the various forceps Fabricius describes are also described by Woodall as they were useful for non-dental surgery .) “The instruments which are used for the extraction of teeth, are, says Fabricius [Girolamo Fabrizio of Aquapendente (1537 to 1619)], of nine kinds; and the most important among them – generically called forceps – are indicated by special names, taken from their resemblance to the mouth or beak of certain animals. Thus, forceps with which it is usual to perform the extraction of molar teeth are called ‘pelicans,’ and of these there are two kinds, according as they are used for the right or left side, for the upper molars or the lower ones. A third kind of instrument goes under the name of ‘beak’ (rostrum), and serves for the extraction of incisors. A fourth kind is the ‘crow’s beak,’ or ‘crow’s bill,’ which is used for the extraction of roots. Two other instruments are named in Italian ‘cagnoli,’ for they imitate the strong bite of the dog (in Italian cane) and are used in cases where the pelican is not adapted. A seventh instrument is called by the Latin term of terebra (drill or auger). It is used instead of a lever to separate the teeth from one another when they are too close to each other, and so render their extraction much easier. The eighth instrument is a ‘trifid lever’ (vectis trifidus), so called because it is furnished with three points. The ninth and last kind of instruments are the dentiscalpia, slender, sharp, and oblong tools, with which the gums are separated from the teeth before extraction.” (Guerini, p. 211)
  13. Let's talk dental hygiene

    As I mentioned in the post above with all the pictures, the pelican was used to grab the tooth from the side, giving the tooth-puller a handle which they could use to pull the tooth up and wiggle it around to loosen it. Some early authors refer to pelicans as "dental forceps" although they really don't function like forceps at all. Of course, methods for tooth removal varied. Tooth-pulling was largely believed to be the last resort for curing tooth-aches by most trained medical people. (Physicians and many surgeons believed such work was beneath them. However, on a ship, there is no one else to do such work -- well, maybe the carpenter if you were really suffering -- so the surgeon might have to do such things.) Many people didn't go to surgeons, rather they used barbers and wandering tooth-pullers to get a sore tooth removed. The pelican wasn't the only tool. There are many examples of pointed dental extraction forceps of various sizes. In fact, I would suspect this would be the sort of thing that the itinerant tooth-puller would use: Dental Extraction Forceps: These are what I have in my period surgical kit, along with a charming little tool for getting under the tooth called a goat's foot elevator: That little hooked thing (which I guess looks like a goat's foot - I do not know many goats) is used to get under the tooth and prise it upward. From what I've read, some tooth-pullers believed you had to remove the gums from the roots of the tooth. My thought is that these would have been very experienced barbers or possibly surgeons rather than itinerant tooth-pullers. I doubt they were much interested in purchasing scalpels and surgical knives required for cutting the gums. You'll also find a pic of an instrument called a trifed lever in my last instrument picture-laden post. I suspect it would be used to dig under the gum when a tooth was loose and probably under the tooth to further loosen it by getting leverage. (Many people's jaws were broken during tooth removal from what I've read.) Of course, there may be more to it than I've noted. I haven't read a whole lot on procedures. I didn't even understand what the goat's foot elevator was for when I first purchased mine - someone asked me and I quickly puzzled it out for myself. Dentistry was a much-hoarded secret, especially in England, so we don't actually have a lot of documentation on the practice. There was only one book published in England during period. "Not until the year 1685, do we find in England the first real definite information concerning a dental practitioner. In that year Charles Allen of York, England, claiming himself as ‘professor of the same’ and referring to the care of the teeth, published what we today acknowledge to be the first English dental book, The Operator for the Teeth. His idea in writing this work is expressed in the ‘proem’ and he therein claims to be the first English dentist. ‘Of what importance it is to all men to be informed of those benefits which by my Art they may enjoy’..." (Weinberger, Bernhard Wolf, An Introduction to the History of Dentistry, Volume 1, p. 227) I haven't procured a copy of The Operator for the Teeth, but I'm working on it. It's actually quite short - something like 90 pages. I am hoping he'll detail some of the dental procedures for me a little more succinctly.
  14. Whatcha linsten' to?

    Le Beouf Sur Le Toit, Op. 58 by Dairus Milhaud. (Because it's funny and it's on the playlist I'm listening to as I type in notes.)
  15. Let's talk dental hygiene

    Hey, this is kinda' cool. There's a dental pelican on eBay. (It's a little pricey...) http://tiny.cc/2rZsJ Since it will disappear soon, here are the photos: What's interesting about it (to me, anyway) is that it is adjustable. One of the problems with dental tools during this period is that they had to have tooth-pulling tools for different sized teeth. A competent tooth puller would probably have had a half-dozen or more tools sized to different widths of tooth. As you can see in the middle of the handle, this one has a wing nut for adjusting the end of the tool in and out. Look at the edge on that thing! Imagine having the tooth puller pushing the lever arm down and digging that serrated edge into your aching tooth to get a grip on it. Sheesh! Boy I wish I could justify spending $600 on that thing. I'd guess it's a beautiful example of 17th/18th century devices based on the patina and the style of that wing nut.