C1883 first small electric lamp used in surgery

C1883 first small electric lamp used in surgery


C1883 first small electric lamp used in surgery


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Country of manufacture

North America

Categories: Medicine, Surgical instruments, Other Medical Antiques


​Edison invented the electric bulb in 1879. A few years later (c1883) a doctor in Brooklyn NY, R.W. St. Clair, introduced what has been described as the first small electric lamp to be used in surgery (The Medical Summary, Vo. 10, June 1884:76).
While most often used in the examination of the throat it had other applications as well. We are offering a scarce and complete example of this instrument–the power source was a battery that presumably was sold separately.  While the case shows wear, the instrument is in excellent condition–the white shade surrounding the bulb was made in two parts to facilitate the replacement of the bulb. The bulb itself is a collector’s item,  being a very early example of this technology.

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Dealer information

M and R Gordon

Michael and Roberta Gordon have been dealing in medical and dental antiques for more than four decades. They have helped build a number of major private collections and have contributed to the holdings of many museums. They also deal in other scientific and technology related items, including calculating instruments, office machines, patent models and wine-related accessories such as corkscrews. ROBERTA GORDON IS A SKILLED RESTORER WHO CAN HELP YOU WITH ANY INSTRUMENTS AND CASES THAT NEED ATTENTION. Feel free to contact them for details at: [email protected] or 718-541-5974