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19th Century Adjustable Operating Table
This heavy oak surgical table was advertised as the Alison table in a number of physician supplies catalogs during the 1890’s. The company that made the table existed as Roberts and Alison between 1886 and 1890 on East South Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. Here is the text of the advertisement in the True Axe and Green Catalog; “made of oak, walnut, or cherry material and workmanship first class. Elegant finish, hand polished, the top is made plain, upholstered, or with movable cushion and pillow. The patient crossbar on which the upper portion rests enables the operator by use of the two-foot treadles at the side of the table instantly to adjust it to perfect ease and with the heaviest patient on it to any desired position. The adjustable stirrups, divided leg rest, revolving cabinet, removable cushion, and the adjustable armrest are some of the desirable features of the table. Satisfaction guaranteed, prices range from fifty to ninety dollars”. A second catalog Allo advertised; “it is safe to assert that this appliance stands without a pier and in its estimations patrons throughout the length and breath of this country”. For an anesthesia the table could be adjusted so that the patients head would be lower than the rest of the body. This would prevent fluids from flowing down and blocking the airway trachea, during surgery. The table could also be tilted on one side to help control bleeding on the raised side.
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