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Coming and Going

http://www.google.com/patents/US112

This is U.S. patent number 112, “saddle for removing the sick and for other purposes,” issued in 1837 to the magnificently named Hezekiah Thistle of New Orleans.

The patient (or body) lies on a bed mounted on springs above the wooden saddle. “There is also a strap G attached to the side of the bed near the center which passes around the thigh and is buckled to the outside of the bed in an oblique direction to prevent the wounded man from slipping down.”

Even the horse looks grim.