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Monday, August 2, 2010

Tiemann Urology Medical Tools (Ca. 1886)

One of my current projects that I recently completed was a set of Medical tools made by G. Tiemann & C0. for use in Urology made sometime around 1886. The George Tiemann & Co. Medical Instrument Supply Company has been in business since 1826 and continues to make and sell Medical Instruments. In addition, they were one of the manufacturers of medical tools during the civil war and their tools were used on the battlefields. For a brief look at their history you can follow the link below to their website:


As for the dating of this particular set, I found a website which details the different labels used by the company during it's time. The label for this set appears below:

This label corresponds with labels used between 1886 and 1920. The site shows a early label and a late label and this one corresponds with the early one, so I would say that this set came from anywhere between 1886 and 1900. To view the different labels you can follow the link below:


The case for the instruments was what I was asked to restore. It is made of Mahogany throughout and over all was in ok shape, but the finish was very dirty and the case also required a patch. I also cleaned the liner and created a missing tab which I detail below. the last step was to make a key for the lock. The key blank was probably from around the same time period. below are some photos of the work.

The case as it came to me.
The case open displaying all of the tools.
Here is the case with the divider removed displaying more of the tools.
The first step was to mask off the liner and clean the finish with Mineral spirits. When the Mineral spirits dry they separate the wax and dirt from the finish and it turns a milky white color.
Here is a close up of the divider. The tab which was helpful in opening it was missing so I found some fabric that matched the existing fabric closely and fashioned a new one.
Here is the new tab in place.
The case needed some repair to the area where the divider inserts into the wood. It was probably opened wrong at one point and the wood was broken out. A tiny patch of Mahogany is being glued in place below. after the glue had set the patch was carved down and stained to match the wood.
After the case was cleaned new French Polish was added to the existing finish to bring back the shine.
Here are two photos of the completed restoration with the case open and closed. Note the 19th century key in the lock which did work the lock.

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