Differential stethoscope

1910-1940 in England

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Differential binaural stethoscope, English(?), 1910-1940

Two chest pieces make this design different from the standard binaural stethoscope. Sounds from two different areas of the body could be heard simultaneously and compared. It also gave the physician a better chance of pinpointing the source of a sound.

The differential stethoscope was first described in 1859 by Scottish physician Dr Somerville Scott Allison (1813-1877). He was an expert in both pulmonary tuberculosis and heart disease. However, his instrument was not of much use and therefore not widely used.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
chest-pieces, wood, ear-pieces, wood and tubing, rubber
overall - previous: 22 mm x 410 mm x 175 mm, .12 kg
overall - current: 30 mm x 410 mm x 200 mm,
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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