Hill and Barnard sphygmomanometer, London, England, 1886-1896

1886-1896 in London
James Joseph Hicks

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Hill and Barnard sphygmomanometer, by J.J. Hicks, 8, 9. & 10 Hatton Garden, London, England in leatherette case, Full
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Hill and Barnard sphygmomanometer, by James Joseph Hicks, 8-10 Hatton Garden, London, England, 1886-1896, in leatherette case.

The original sphygmomanometer was devised by Samuel Von Basch (1837-1905) in 1881. It measured blood pressure by slowly applying a measured force to the skin over an artery until the pulse disappeared. This example is a variation known as a Hill and Barnard sphygmomanometer. It is named after its designers Dr Leonard Hill (1866-1952), a British physiologist, and Harold Barnard (1868-1908), a British surgeon. Measuring blood pressure as a health check only became common practice from the 1920s.

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