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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Operation: 1900

Operation: 1900

New York circa 1900. "Operating room, Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Looks rough, but

110 years from now today's operating rooms will probably look equally primitive. Our forefathers did survive medical care like that, even if it makes us cringe, although they may have been tougher than we are. Joseph Lister developed sterile surgery procedures in the 1860s, but maybe they didn't get the memo in Brooklyn.

This may hurt a bit

I am very happy to live in 2010, what a change. I agree that the man at the door with the stained apron is rather frightening.

The saw says it all.

Very serious group here. The one leg does seem to be a prosthetic. The other looks to be fine, but the covering of the foot is suspicious. The man at the door seems to be waiting to dispatch the severed limb.

Anesthesia cone

Hand me the Ether, Ethel

Early Eavesdropping?

What is the object poking through a hole in the ceiling? Looks like a microphone, but it couldn't have been that small in 1900.

[Gaspipe. - Dave]

Punch is served

What is that floating in the punch bowl? It's not a good sign when even the nurses look alarmed.

Off with his leg

This shows the procedure for an amputation. Note the large bone saw and tourniquet on the patient's left leg. His right leg under the drape looks to be artificial.

Scary Scene

The doctor with the forceps about to grab another doctor's finger, the weird look on the face of the nurse standing to his right. The Anesthesiologist about to smother the patient, the 2 buckets under the nurse's table and the guy at the door preventing anyone from escaping..

Ether cone

Is that an ether cone over top of the paitent's face? Also, the guy against the door is creepy looking with his stained and striped butchers apron.

Where are the leeches?

My garage is cleaner than this "operating room" was.

I don't even want to know what the saw on the table was for.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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