AMC’s Early First-Aid Kit, Leeches Not Included

April 19, 2016



When a Boston medical-supply company introduced The Appalachian Emergency Outfit at $2.50 apiece, circa 1920, initial sales were slow. Manufactured by Boylston Street’s E.F. Mahady Co. specifically for AMC, the backcountry first-aid kit failed to entice club members because, as a 1921 AMC report claimed, “so confident are [they] that no accident will befall them.” In the following year, AMC published the fifth edition of its Guide to Paths in the White Mountains (now known as the White Mountain Guide), which for the first time included a chapter titled “Emergencies in the Woods.” Twenty-two gruesomely detailed pages of text and illustrations explained how to treat wounds, sprains, and ruptures of every kind, ending with the recommendation that every visitor to the White Mountains carry The Appalachian Emergency Outfit.


The images here appear courtesy of the AMC Library & Archives. Duplicates can be ordered for a fee. Funds support efforts to preserve the club’s historical collections. Call 617-391-6629, visit, or e-mail for details.


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Marc Chalufour

Marc Chalufour, a former senior editor of AMC Outdoors, contributes to the trail-running blog Running Wild.