Traces the regional development of medicine from the end of the Civil War to the dawn of the twentieth century. Can you imagine sewing up a surgical incision with horsehair? Can you imagine the doctor coming to you for a house call when you are not feeling well? Highlights exhibit include a restored ca. 1890s doctor’s buggy, an extensive collection patent medicine bottles, vintage instruments and puzzling medical devices of years long since passed.

Horse Hair Sutures


Through history, various types of thread or materials have been used to close wounds.  One of these was horse hair.  The reason is simply it was long, sturdy, and for much of medical history easily available. 

During the 19th century, horse hair sutures were preferred by many surgeons because it appeared to create fewer infections. What they could not have known until that advent of the Germ Theory of disease was by boiling the animal hair sutures to make them more pliable, they were, in fact, sterilizing them.

Location in Museum

Medicine in the New South Exhibit case


Early 20th Century

100 Years