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War is almost always the mother of scarcity and scarcity breeds invention. During the American Civil War of 1861–65, the Union blockade of the Southern States created shortages of all kinds, including medical supplies, especially acute since the industrial regions of the USA were mainly in the North. The South was principally agrarian. The primary object of the blockade, which became increasingly effective as the war dragged on, was to disrupt the Southern economy, especially the export of cotton to Europe.