Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

"The single most important tool ever created..."

Dear Old Boss--

Just do a web search @ google and you'll find a supplier, and, no, the contemporary types don't look the same--
they're all stainless, including hilt. There's also a "new" one for sale @ eBay--just search "liston knife" in titles & descriptions.

The "period pieces" are pricey--re: dem Civil War freaks--and so-called antique value.

According to the collector we contacted, one should be able to purchase an 1888ish knife from a London maker for no more than $250. Hence, barring a steal at eBay would be between $100-$250. I can give you fuller details in person--blah, blah, blah.

From the autopsies of the canonical victims--Jacky's weapon of choice was as follows:

Dr. Bond (autopsied your heroine the would-be Mary Kelly): "no doubt a straight knife" ... "strong, very sharp point at the top, one inch in width, at least six inches long."--this is the most frequent forensic description of the weapon too, by the way.

Also, Dr. Phillips (highly regarded dr., provided most detailed description of knife): "very sharp; thin, narrow blade at least six-eight inches long" ... "a small amputating knife six-eight inches long."

Ergo: Liston knife perfect fit.

Go here for more:

Dr. Echol's Collection

and, finally, some tasty tidbits if you're in a rush:

Dr. Robert Liston (1794-1847) was a very prominent surgeon in the 19th century and invented a number of surgical techniques used today. In fact, many of the instruments in his surgical sets were named after him. Dr. Liston was a large man who cut a broad figure in the operating room and was proud of his reputation as a fast surgeon, a reputation that was well respected in this preanesthetic era for obvious reasons. Legends of his operating techniques are numerous, including the carved notches Dr. Liston made on his amputation knife following each procedure. He would hold a major artery with his large left hand while making one great cutting pass with the right. With the knife held in his teeth, he would then suture the limb, the whole procedure lasting only a few minutes. On one occasion while he was trying to break his speed record for a leg amputation, Dr Liston accidentally amputated one of his patient's testicles and two of his assistant's fingers.

Below are the four most famous (or should it be infamous?) cases of Robert Liston, the famous 19th century surgeon.

Liston's fourth most famous case:
Removal in four minutes of a 45-pound scrotal tumour, whose owner had to carry it around in a wheelbarrow.

Liston's third most famous case:
Argument with his intern. Was the red, pulsating tumour in a small boy's neck a straightforward abscess of the skin? Or a dangerous aneurism of the carotid artery?
"Pooh!" Liston exclaimed impatiently. "Whoever heard of an aneurism in a boy so young?". Flashing a knife from his waistcoat pocket, he lanced it.
Intern's note: "Out leaped arterial blood and the boy fell."
The patient died but the artery lives, in the University College Hospital pathology museum specimen No. 1256.

Liston's second most famous case:
Amputated the leg in two and a half minutes, but in his enthusiasm the patient's testicles as well.

Liston's most famous case:
Amputated the leg in under two and a half minutes - the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene (they often did in those early days).
He amputated in addition, the fingers of his young assistant who too died afterward in the ward from hospital gangrene.
Liston also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals that he dropped dead from fright.
Thus ended the only operation in history with a 300 percent mortality !"

In short, the Liston knife is the single most important tool ever created.

Hence my enthusiasm abounds....

Now, as William Blake once wrote: "Enough or too much?"

Yours &c.