Butcher-type amputation saw, London, England, 1850-1846

Made:
1850-1865 in London

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Adjustable bow-frame (Butcher's) competition saw by Mathews, London, c. 1850

Known as a Butcher-type saw, this amputation saw has a bow frame to adjust the tension of the blade and a second rotating blade on the top of the frame that can cut at any angle. The fine blade is to prevent damage to the surrounding tissues. Developed in 1850 by Richard Butcher, the saw was originally intended to be used in an alternative to amputations known as re-sectioning knee and elbow joints. This can relieve pain and give some movement to the limb. This steel example was made by Mathews, a surgical instrument maker based in London.

Details

Category:
Surgery
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A600830
Materials:
base, steel, frame, steel, handle, ebony and handle, metal
type:
amputation saw
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • surgical equipment
  • surgical instrument
  • surgical saw