Old School Surgical Tools by Mark Harris

May 19th

A quick glance at our gallery of some of history’s gnarliest surgical tools will definitely make you thankful for just how far our industry has progressed throughout time. Browse through images and descriptions of surgical tools dating as far back as the 1600’s – a time when surgery was definitely not for the squeamish.

You might think your HMO plan is scary, but at least it doesn’t use these vintage surgical instruments…hopefully.

Amputation Knife (1700s) Knives used for amputations during the 18th century were typically curved, because surgeons tended to make a circular cut through the skin and muscle before the bone was cut with a saw. By the 1800s, straight knives became more popular because they made it easier to leave a flap of skin that could be used to cover the exposed stump.


Amputation Saw (1600s) While some surgeons chose to flaunt their wealth with elaborately decorated saws like this, the crevices in the intricate engravings proved to be a breeding ground for germs.


Arrow Remover (1500s) Not much is known about this tool, but it is hypothesized that it was inserted into the wound in a contracted position, with the central shaft used to grasp the arrow. The blades, which appear to have their sharp edges facing outward, were then expanded using the scissor-like handles, thus expanding the flesh around the arrow to prevent the arrowhead from ripping through the meat as it was pulled out.

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Did you know…

May 11th

You can help develop leaders in your community and club by getting involved in Rotary programs and activities. Empower young people through Interact and Rotaract. Encourage community involvement by sponsoring a Rotary Community Corps. Or share your expertise in a Rotarian Action Group.

  • Get involoved with our Internact clubs. Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self.
  • There are also Rotaract clubs, whichbring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.
  • Organize a Rotary Community Corps. This is a group of people who share our commitment to changing the world through service projects.  Rotary Community Corps members plan and carry out projects in their communities and support local Rotary club projects but are not members of a Rotary club.  There are more than 8,500 corps in over 90 countries. Rotary Community Corps are active everywhere Rotary is present: in urban and rural areas, and in both developed and developing countries.
  • Form or join a Rotary Fellowships, which are independent, social groups that share a common passion. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world.

Babashaheb (Bob) Sonawane – “My Journey from A Dusty Village in India to Washington, D.C.”

April 28th

Bob was born in a small village, Nandgaon (pop. 868), Northwest of Bombay in Maharashtra State in India. He grew up into a large family of a poor farmer. He has 3 brothers and 4 sisters, and while helping with the goats and livestock, studied in a one-room elementary school in Nandgaon and attended high school in Ahmednagar.

Throughout his high school he was a recipient of merit scholarships and continued to work on the farm. Bob received a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences and M.S. in Entomology from the University of Pune, India. He came to the United States in 1967. He received his PhD in Entomology from the University of Missouri (Columbia) and did post-doctoral training was at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C.). He served on the faculty of the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (1975- 1983) and conducted research in Pediatric Pharmacology.

Bob served as a toxicologist at the Food & Drug Administration, Rockville, MD (1983-1985). He worked at the U.S. EPA from 1985-2016 conducting and managing researching health-risk assessment of chemicals. Bob has authored/co-authored over 150 scientific papers, in toxicology and health risk assessment of environmental agents, He has been recipient of several awards from the U.S. EPA for his outstanding contributions.

Bob retired from EPA in January 2016. He and his wife Meena have two children and five grandchildren. He is very passionate about children’s education especially in poor countries and currently supports college education of girls in India.