Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea, 1864. First edition. Hardcover. The best American midwifery text book in the Civil War era, unusual for the early use of lithographs based on photography in some of the illustrations. This is the time in which delivering babies evolved away from being a field dominated by female practitioners and became a medical specialty, the field of obstetrics, dominated by males.
The author notes the great improvement in the field over the previous sixty years in America, but also betrays the contemporary bias against women in the field: "the practice ... was almost exclusively in the hands of women, most of them entirely uneducated, and governed by maxims and prejudices too often productive of the greatest mischief" (xi).
Thanks to the advent of physicians in the field, the author notes, "obstetrics has taken its position as coequal with the other branches of medicine ... although the employment of women, during labor, is not entirely abandoned, yet it has become greatly restricted, and even those who consider themselves as midwives, are disposed to seek for better instruction than they formerly enjoyed" (xi).
4to, xxiv, 17-550pp. 32 lithographed plates with 159 figures from photographs & 110 text wood-engravings. Original brown cloth binding, rubbed, marked, cloth split along spine and flapping. Damp marks in corners of plates; early flourished pencil owner signature, Roma 1880, at ffep. Still a serviceable copy of an important American medical treatise. Good -. Item #24277