Skip to main content

Kornhauser history collection medical artifacts

Identifier: KORN1000

Medical artifacts dating from early 19th century to mid to late 20th century are found in the Kornhauser History Collection and include diverse items among which are surgical and medical tools as well as other items used by medical professionals. There are three examples of instruments in use during the middle decades of the 19th century. One set of instruments was presented to John Henry Chenoweth, M.D. (Louisville Medical Institute class of 1844) by Samuel Gross, M.D., then professor of surgery at Jefferson Medical School, and subsequently handed down to James S. Chenoweth, M.D., in 1889. Another set is in a small leather pocket medical kit, with most instruments intact, belonging to Amos Frost, an 1850 University of Louisville graduate who practiced medicine in Indiana. Also present is an amputating case with instruments belonging to and used by R. L. Heston from 1861 to 1865 during the Civil War. The early 20th century is represented with a doctor's bag dating from 1909 to 1923 with medicine and instruments, including a hemometer, a micro saccharimeter, microscope, and hypodermic needles. This bag was donated to the Kornhauser History Collection as part of the Warner J. Shacklette, M.D. (1871-1959) office records along with six account books, one prescription register, and photographs.

One of the oldest artifacts in the history collection is a Sanford Brent extraction key, an iron, key-style dental instrument. Accompanying the extraction key is a treatise on its use, published in 1859, pointing out that it is "emphatically, an old instrument," and little used by the mid-19th century. Also in the collection is an antique mahogany lap desk with leather interior and two secret drawers ca. 1840, along with a custom stand built from wood salvaged from the building that housed the University of Louisville Medical Department from 1857 to 1908.

Extent is approximate.


  • early 1800s - 1970s


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests have not been transferred to the University of Louisville. For further information, see the section on copyright in the regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Library or consult a reference archivist.


120 items


No online items. Must visit contributing institution.


Kornhauser history collection medical artifacts
Mary K. Marlatt
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library Repository

Kornhauser Library
500 S. Preston Street
Louisville KY 40292 United States
(502) 852-5766