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Book Review
August 01, 2007

The Evolution of Surgical Instruments: An Illustrated History From Ancient Times to the Twentieth Century

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by John Kirkup, MD, FRCS, 510 pp, with illus, $275, ISBN 0-430405-86-2, Novato, California, 2005.

Arch Surg. 2007;142(8):801. doi:10.1001/archsurg.142.8.801-a

John Kirkup, MD, FRCS, is a distinguished orthopedic surgeon who has been president of the History Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. He has written a fascinating book on the evolution of a wide range of surgical instruments. The text is supplemented by illustrations from a number of different sources, including catalogs from instrument makers. If Kirkup thought that an appropriate illustration was not available from previous material, drawings were commissioned to illustrate “the finer material.” In addition, a large number of drawings, portraits, and photographs of the men who described the instruments or developed and used them add a further dimension to the text.

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