Making short, straight cuts into the body cavity when dealing with severe trauma in a battlefield setting requires quick and easy tools as often this surgery is done in the most rudimental of conditions, often with many casualties to treat and possibly under fire. Whilst a scalpel is very precise, it is hardly quick and so buttonhole scissors were issued to medics. These are also sometimes called Mayo scissors and are used in surgery today, however this pair of wartime made scissors are very heavy duty compared to most modern examples:
The blades are distinctive in having a pointed blade and a squarecut, blunted blade:
Like most high quality steel tools of the period, these scissors were manufactured in Sheffield:
George Platts & Son were established in 1845 and operated out of St Mary Street in Sheffield. They normally marketed scissors to the public under the brand name ‘Sailor’. Production for the general public was severely reduced during the war as military contracts took precedence, as seen in this 1945 dated advert which warns they cannot accept new business at the moment:
They have a very small /|\ ownership mark stamped into the metal together with a ‘9’ which is probably an inspector’s number:
My thanks go to Michael Skriletz for kindly giving me this pair of scissors which make an excellent addition to my small, but growing, medical collection.
They are very similar in design to upholsterers’ board shears, as can be seen here https://www.discoverupholstery.co.uk/shop/board-shears/