Portable electrocardiograph, Cambridge, England, 1929

Made:
1929 in Cambridge
maker:
Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company Limited

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portable electrocardiograph machine, No.C129668, by the Cambridge Instrument Co. Ltd., 1929.

An electrocardiograph produces ‘traces’ or visual graphical records of the electrical activity in a person’s heart. The records are called electrocardiograms or ECGs. Physicians examine them for irregularities that indicate disease, birth defects or heart attacks. This example was made by the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co Ltd.

The first human electrocardiogram was made by Englishman A. D. Waller (1856-1922) in 1887. However, the modern practice of electrocardiography was made possible by a device called the ‘string galvanometer’. This was invented around 1903 by Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven (1860-1927). Einthoven won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine for his invention. Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company made the first commercial machine in 1908.

Details

Category:
Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
1979-204 Pt1
type:
electrocardiograph
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment