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Cultural Museum Entry: Surgical Saws in the Civil War

Background: Surgical saws and tools have been in use since at least 3000 B.C. The first known surgical armamentaria, the equivalent of a Civil War surgeon’s kit, was found in Pompeii, and dates back to 79 A.D. (Kirkup 21). Surgeon’s tools at the time were composed from many materials, including copper, bronze, silver and steel […] […]

Sam P. for Material Culture Museum: Hardtack and Other Indelicacies

Army rations of the Civil War, and the problems stemming from them. […]

Ben’s (Im)Material Culture Museum Entry: Ghosts of Virginia The tourist attraction sign for Chatham, where the ghost of a heartbroken woman is said to walk the grounds for one night every seven years. Lamb’s Creek Church, where two Confederate soldiers apparently had a third companion but the flash of lightening They say that there is a church about thirteen miles outside […] […]

Chelsea’s Material Culture Museum Entry: Ford’s Theatre

Ford’s Theatre 1865’s%20Assassination.asp Presidential Box 1865 Ford’s Theatre Now Ford’s Theatre sits at 511 10th Street NW, the site originally occupied by the First Baptist Church of Washington which was built in 1833. In 1859, the congregation abandoned the building when they merged with the Fourth Baptist Congregation formed on 13th Street. After a few years of occasional […] […]

Material Culture Museum: Civil War Hospitals

During the Civil War there were many advances made in medical treatment. Often through trial and error surgeons discovered new methods to treat patients and more effective methods of care. Treatment was not the only area of medicine that advanced however, the use of military hospitals was drastically changed during the Civil War and set […] […]

Material Culture Museum Entry- Stove Pipe Hat

Atop over six feet of President Lincoln’s thin body sat what is perhaps his most recognizable feature: a top hat. Besides his other obvious contributions to America’s history, Lincoln also started a major fashion trend. While most top hats of the time were about seven inches tall, Lincoln urged his higher and higher, sometimes wearing […] […]

Sam Krieg’s Material Culture Museum Entry

During the nineteenth century, firearm technology experienced a series of incredible technological advances. The smooth bore, round-ball musket, which had been favored for centuries of warfare, was replaced by the grooved barrels and cylindro-conical rounds of the rifle. However, during the Civil War, a middle ground between the two styles was favored by the […] […]

Culture Museum: Lincoln’s Funeral/Cortege

Lincoln was shot on April 15, 1865, at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC (Kunhardt 119). Within hours of his death, Washington was scrambling to work on the preparations. The undertaker worked nearly nonstop 24 hours to produce Lincoln’s $1500 coffin, which measured 6 feet 6 inches long, a tight fit for Lincoln’s 6 feet 4 […] […]

Material Culture Museum: Ice Cream!

The origins of ice cream are mysterious. There’s documentation of people flavoring snow hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, but that’s really more of a primative snow cone than ice cream. Some might place its beginning during the reign of Nero (54-68 CE), because the famous Emperor enjoyed a frozen, sweetened combination of […] […]

Material Culture Museum Entry, Soldiers’ Home

Lincoln’s Cottage, Soldier’s Home Founding and History of Soldiers’ Home Founded by a Major General, General, and a Senator on March 3, 1851 after the suggestion of an Army Asylum in his Annual Message to the President in November of 1827 by Secretary of War James Barbour. Thus, it took almost 30 years before action was taken […] […]