There’s a new exhibit at the museum! Our “Tools of the Trade” exhibit had been in place for five years, so it was time for a change. We chose to highlight some of the issues faced by the veterans after the war, so the new exhibit is titled, “When the War is Over…The Mental and Physical Legacy of War.” It is a topic which is sometimes overlooked, and it relates well to some of the issues faced by veterans of more modern conflicts.
Before the new exhibit could be installed, I had ... read more
I have been sort of on vacation this past week. I didn’t go on a big trip, I just took a little time off from work to get some projects done at home. I did find some time to have fun though, as I visited a few local spots. Too many times the local attractions get put on the list to visit later, and then “later” never happens! So, one afternoon we took the short drive over to Jefferson, Maryland to tour the Distillery Lane Ciderworks. I wasn’t expecting to be reminded of work there, ... read more
I have some exciting news for all the Clara Barton fans out there! The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is working with the American Red Cross in Washington DC to put Clara Barton’s trunk bed on display! Since we are still working on some environmental and security issues at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office, the trunk bed will be displayed at our main museum. A trunk bed, as the name implies, is a small bed, or cot, which folds into a trunk to become more easily portable. This ... read more
I recently had some tasks to complete out at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The Pry farm is gorgeous this time of year, and I will freely admit that I chose my Pry work day after consulting the weather forecast! I was able to enjoy a beautiful sunny day there, while still doing my work.
I worked in a room which was closed off from the display areas in the house, so that I didn’t have to worry about the dust or paint fumes affecting the artifacts or the visitors! ... read more
People who lived during the time of the Civil War may not have had cell phones and digital cameras, but they still had photographs taken of themselves. The most popular images were not called selfies, but carte de visites (CDVs). These were small albumen prints which were mounted on cards measuring about 2 1/2 inches by 4 inches. They were easy to make, inexpensive, and easy to mail. Soldiers had CDVs taken to send back home to their families and friends, wives sent CDVs of themselves or ... read more
It’s time for another update on the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office! The building is now open Friday through Sunday each week. Visitors can tour the restored space where Clara Barton lived and worked while she was running her Missing Soldiers Office. On the first floor, they can learn more about Washington D.C. in Clara’s time, and about the many ways that Clara made a difference in this world. On the third floor, they can climb the same staircase, walk the same hallways, look out ... read more
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: http://guardianoftheartifacts.blogspot.com/2014/03/house-work-at-pry.html
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 ... read more
Last Thursday it was once again time for the annual “History Days” at the Harry Grove Stadium here in Frederick. Groups of local school children come here to learn more about history at the various booths set up inside the stadium. They also get to watch the baseball game.
As you may suspect, the staff here at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is always happy to participate in this event! You can see why in some posts about previous History Days here: http://guardianoftheartifacts.blogspot.com/2012/05/funand-games-much-of-acivil-war.html and here: ... read more
Since I work at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, I’m sure you’d naturally expect that the artifacts in the museum’s collection relate to Civil War medicine. That is generally true, but there are a few items which may not appear to relate at first glance. Today let’s take a look at a surgical kit which fits this category.
This kit is a four-tiered general operating set, ca. 1875, manufactured by J. H. Gemrig of Philadelphia. Though the kit and surgical ... read more
Part of my job as the curator at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine involves handling the loans of artifacts to other institutions. I always request photos of the artifacts on exhibit, because I like to see how other museums handle displaying these artifacts. Sometimes though, I get to actually visit in person. Recently I had the opportunity to see the new exhibit at the Musselman Library at Gettysburg College. The curator of the exhibit, Natalie Sherif, had contacted me several months ... read more