Collecting Nursing Relics - page 2

I found this story of interest and thought you might too: When Jerri Rich, RN, settles into the office of her Sterling Heights, Mich., home to prepare to teach a first-aid or CPR class, she... Read More

  1. by   Dr. Kate
    I have my Mom's books from nursing school, her student and graduate pins and some caps. For reasons she never explained, she gave her cape to one of her nieces, who turned it into coats for her two sons. That's always made me a bit sad. I can remember when I was in school going to my Mom's OB book for a description of destructive obstetrics which my book referred to but didn't explain. It was also a great source for exercises to do to relieve gas pains after abdominal surgery.
  2. by   Helori
    When I graduated from nursing school my Grandmother gave me the cap that she wore 70 years earlier when she was a nurse. I have that along with her nursing books and pictures of her and her collegues in training. They meant so much to her that she's kept them all these years, they certainly mean a lot to me too!

  3. by   deespoohbear
    I have a few historic things R/T nursing, but not as much as I would like. My Grandma gave me an old nursing book she found at a yard sale. I got a couple of ones off of Ebay. They have some nursing pins on there, but usually the prices are out of my range for this time in my life. I would love to have one of those capes though. I think they are gorgeous. I have seen a couple go up for auction on Ebay. Anyone know of any other online sites that has antique nursing items on it? Or where to find some stores in real life? Thanks.
  4. by   jingy
    deespoohbear, you can occasionally find pins at flea markets and gold/coin dealers. Last year I found four at a flea market and none were over $60. As for the capes, you can sometimes find them at vintage clothing dealers. I think that if some manufacturer decided to make them again, they'd find a worthwhile market for them. Enough people seem to want them. I know that Ebay is a very discouraging way to go for these things. It took me about thirty years to collect forty pins, and most of those before Ebay came on the scene.
  5. by   semstr
    I've got an original book "surgery for nurses" written by no one else as Dr. Billroth himself!
  6. by   nursemouse
    My mother was a WWII army nurse, and I have many of her things, including her first RN pin, many pictures, and many, many of her touching stories. I also have an old Critical Care book from the early 1960s (rotating tourniquets, anyone?).
  7. by   nursedawn67
    Oh these all sound great, I would love to find an old nursing book. I once read online some old nursing job was a riot, they had to work like 6 days a week, and had to shovel coal and just some really strange things.
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Hadda smile...I was showing a girlfriend Allnurses on her PC (she is not computer savvy) and when we saw this thread we laughed and said at the same time "We ARE Nursing relics".
  9. by   RN2B2005
    I have a copy of "DeLee's Obstetrics & Gynecology For Nurses" date 1928. I bought it on eBay, along with another dozen old nursing texts, for $3.00.

    I found a celluloid negative stuck between the pages, a negative from what must have been a photograph of the former owner. It shows a very young woman, maybe 20, standing in a student nurse uniform (pinafore, striped dress, white collar, white cap) outside a brick building, holding an infant. I'm thinking it might have been one of her first deliveries; notes inside the back cover of the book give the date and time of births she witnessed.

    She looks so proud. It's unfortunate that her family parted with this piece of her history.

    Since then, I've purchased other "nursing relics", including an interesting text from 1903 illustrating "common" infectious diseases--smallpox, typhoid fever, etc. I also have my great-grandmother's nursing school pin, her WWI nurse's habit (like what nuns wear!), and her nurse's fob watch. Likewise, I have my grandmother's nursing school pin, several caps, and her WWII nursing cape and medals, as well as her logbook from nursing school clinicals.

    The most amazing thing to me is the logbook entries...some of the "lying-in" patients stayed for a month or more in the hospital. Also sad notations, like anecephalic births and stillbirths, and several intrapartum maternal deaths.
  10. by   CountrifiedRN
    I became interested in antiques when I started attending auctions after moving to NC. At one auction I bid on a box of books, and at the bottom was a Medical Student's Vade Mecum from 1867. I occasionally read through it and am amazed at how much they already knew back then, and I am amused and sometimes shocked by the treatments that were used. Bloodletting was frequently used, and they used herbal mixes for medicinal treatments. Very interesting.

    I also recently read Tending Lives by Echo Heron, which is a compilation of nursing stories. The ones by the older retired nurses were just amazing, to hear of what they did back then. There was a description from a nurse that was in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and one from a 70 y/o retired L&D nurse. Lots of amazing stories, also by the younger nurses too.

    It has really gotten me interested in the history of nursing, and since I started my spring break yesterday, I plan on going to the book store to see what else I can find to read on what nursing was like "back in the day". It almost seems like a different profession from what I see today.

    Great thread Bonnie!