RARE LAMBERT’S PATENT TOURNIQUET

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Item Code: 490-1862

The army supplied no field medical packets to individual soldiers during the Civil War so commercial suppliers in some cases stepped in. Soldier letters and memoirs on occasion mention going into action with a bandage or tourniquet in a pocket. Many more probably did so than talked about it. Bravery and forethought are not incompatible. A wound to the body might be more than a soldier, or even a surgeon at the time could deal with, but tourniquets were a natural measure to cope with wounds to limbs. Dr. Thomas Lambert devised this pattern and patented it in January 1862, using a 1 ½ inches wide herringbone twill strap to link, fasten and tighten concave metal pads on the affected limb to stanch blood flow and marketed it with a small instruction sheet.

This one preserves much of its original red color on the strap and maroon paint on the metal pads and folding brackets. (Lambert produced them in both maroon and green colors. Green was perhaps more soothing. Red probably hid the blood better.) There are a few scratches and some very minor paint loss on the edges of the metal pads from rubbing, but some of the Lambert patent stamp can be plainly seen on the face of one pad.

This is a very scarce piece of soldier’s gear that would go well in a display of a soldier’s or officer’s personal effects.[sr]

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