Story: The voyage out

Surgeon’s medical kit

Surgeon’s medical kit

Surgeons were vital on immigrant ships to New Zealand. They were responsible for the good physical health of the passengers, and for their moral behaviour. To discharge their primary responsibility, ships’ surgeons came on board with well-stocked medical chests and surgical instruments. This medical kit belonged to Dr George Lillie Smith, who came from Edinburgh to Waipū in the mid-19th century.

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Waipū Heritage Centre
Photograph by Shirley Williams

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'The voyage out - Sickness at sea', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/2592/surgeons-medical-kit (accessed 26 September 2020)

Story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005