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sgtpeter
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Re: Early Stretcher?

Tue Apr 17, 2012 19:04

Well the spreaders look correct for a stretcher of the inter-war years but it's obviously missing the normal handles on the poles. How long are the poles?
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Re: Early Stretcher?

Tue Apr 17, 2012 21:08

I didn't measure it but the poles are definitely shorter than the WWII and later stretchers.

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Re: Early Stretcher?

Tue Apr 17, 2012 21:54

According to this article, the poles should be 90" long and the canvas 72" long. If its shorter than that, I would suggest it was "bubba-ized" to fit an ambulance somewhere. With the handles on the side, I would also suggest that it was intended as a four person carry as it might be exhausting/challenging to carry one end of the stretcher by yourself. In addition those handles look less comfortable than the wood ones if you have to carry the stretcher long distances.
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Re: Early Stretcher?

Fri Apr 20, 2012 16:18

Peter,
FYI, nearly all Litter drill was done with 4 people. There were provisions for using two stretcher bearers in the manual, but the original intent of the Medical Field Service School was to have four people carrying one. I have moved people by litter with one other person more than 500 yards when I was a medic, in good shape, and pumped up with adrenaline and it was challenging. Try it sometime and you'll understand why.
The litter pole ends appear to be original to the piece, not something modified or added on later. I think this was built this way. The poles are 75" long. I'm thinking it is some type of ambulance litter (early perhaps). These castings definitely have the look of turn-of-the-century medical equipment, with the nickel plating.

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Re: Early Stretcher?

Fri Apr 20, 2012 19:51

My apologies, what I was trying to say was that if that is its original design, I don't believe it would be intended for field use as it would be overly cumbersome if not impossible for a two person carry. Having used period litters for living history events and modern military litters for real world, I completely agree that a four person carry is the way to go. At least with the standard design wood handles, you could do a two person carry for short movements where as yours looks like it would be too cumbersome.

I also agree it was probably used with an ambulance.

I would also mention that my 1946 Lentz catalog shows the standard 90" interwar litter (USMD #7844000)as a Lawrence Carrying Stretcher "used by most transportation companies, hospitals and clinics". If yours is purpose built, maybe there is patent for it somewhere.

IMO ... yours looks like it was modified rather than purpose built. However, I have certainly been wrong before :). Either way, I think it is an interesting piece. Thanks for sharing!
Peter

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