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Amputation tools used in Revolutionary War sell for $100K

July 15, 2017 (Photo Credit: Library of Congress)
BOSTON — A collection of amputation tools used in the Revolutionary War has fetched more than $100,000 at auction.

The amputation kits were owned by Dr. John Warren, a Continental Army surgeon and a founder of Harvard Medical School. Boston-based RR Auction didn't identify the buyer Thursday.

Auction house officials say the tools show signs of heavy use and come from a time before doctors understood the importance of sterilization.

The tools include saws, a curved amputation knife, surgical scissors, forceps and a tourniquet. They were previously sold by Harvard University in a warehouse auction.

A Revolutionary War-era amputation saw at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in North Carolina.
Photo Credit: National Park Service
Warren practiced medicine in Massachusetts before becoming a surgeon for the Continental Army.

He treated the wounded at the battles of Long Island, Trenton and Princeton, and he later became Harvard's first professor of anatomy and surgery.

Battle of Princeton
The Battle of Princeton
Photo Credit: Library of Congress


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