Back at the Pry House

by Lori Eggleston. 0 Comments

The last time I wrote about the Pry House Field Hospital Museum it was to document the renovations which were being done to the house and barn.  Take a look at what was done here:

Though the artifacts are normally put back on display in the Pry House in April, I couldn’t put them in the house during the renovations.  Having the roof replaced meant that the temperature and relative humidity inside the house would fluctuate much more than usual.  If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll know that I aim to keep artifacts in an environment with stable temperature and relative humidity!  There was also a higher risk of leaks and of pests gaining entry to the house, as well as an increase in dirt and dust in the house.  It was just not worth the risk to the artifacts.


Now the Pry House has a brand new roof!


Once the roof was finished and the house was cleaned, I was finally able to take the artifacts for the displays back out to the Pry House.


No one likes seeing empty display cases!


Since there had been some extra dirt and dust produced during renovations, I also decided to wash the cloth covers in the cases before the artifacts were put back inside them.


This foam block was designed to safely support and display an open book. There is a sheet of foam in the base of the case as well. The foam helps to cushion and support the artifacts on display.


Unbleached muslin is used to cover both pieces of foam, since this kind of fabric does not contain any dyes or chemicals which can damage artifacts.


Since the Pry House was used as the headquarters for Dr. Jonathan Letterman during the Battle of Antietam, his book, “Medical Recollections of the Army of the Potomac” is displayed here, on the foam support pictured in the previous photo. After the Civil War, Dr. Letterman wrote of his tenure as the Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac and of the role played by the Medical Department under his direction.


The rest of the artifacts are back in the display cases as well. Some of the artifacts on display include amputation instruments, an ambulance water keg, a home pharmacy kit, Irish Brigade items recovered from the battlefield, Dr. Letterman’s desk, and many other relevant items. If you’re in the area, come and take a look at them!


Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

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