• Fort Parade Ground and Officers Quarters as seen from Guardhouse

    Fort Scott

    National Historic Site Kansas

Post Hospital - Tool of the Trade


Tools or props that would be at a hospital station would include the following.

Surgeon's Kit-Includes bonesaw, scalpel, forceps, and other operating tools.


Apothecary -A bag or case to hold medicines. There are medicine cases available for props, the large bag pictured and a smaller pouch.

Medicine Bottles-Including quinine, ipecac, morphine, and ether, to name a few.
Bandages-occasionally washed out and reused-lack of sterilization didn't exactly promote rapid healing.
Bleeding Pan-used by surgeons during bloodletting to catch blood coming from patients' arm.

Pitcher and Wash Basin-"19th century version of our sink" for cleanup of all kinds.
Scales-For weighing and measuring medicines. Counterweights used on the scales helped surgeons determine how much medicine they were giving to patients.
Cots-Generally laid out next to each other in the wardrooms where patients recovered. Lack of isolated patient beds may have contributed to the spread of disease.

Hospital tools CotsScalesBandagesPitcher and BasinBleeding Pan

Ether Cone-A funnel with a sponge affixed inside. When administering ether, the ether would be poured onto the sponge, the funnel held over the patient's mouth, and the patient would breathe in the ether-which would put him to sleep.

Leeches and Leech Box-Leeches are wormlike creatures that attach to the body and suck blood. Leeches were used in bloodletting as it was believed that draining blood out of the body would promote healing as poisonous substances were drained from the body along with the blood.

Mortar and Pestle-For grinding medicine into powders.

Quill Pen and Ink Well-For recording patient data and meteorological observations.

Splint-To immobilize fractured legs and arms prior to moving a patient to a field hospital for surgery.

Stethoscopes-Wooden stethoscopes were placed so that one end was held to the doctor's ear and the other was held next to the patient's heart. The idea was the same as with modern stethoscopes, to listen to a patient's heartbeat.

Hospital Equipment Wooden SplintMortar and PestleEther ConeInk Well and Quill PenWooden StethoscopeLeeches and Leech Box
Medicine Bottle in Hospital
Next Page

Did You Know?

General Winfield Scott at the time of the Mexican American War

The fort was named for General Winfield Scott, who was the commander of all American armies in the 1840s. General Scott was none too happy about it and said that it was done without his knowledge and against his wishes.