Hill and Barnard-type sphygmomanometer, London, England, 1891-1900

1891-1900 in London
James Joseph Hicks

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Consulting the doctor in 1900. Room set display in Lower Wellcome Gallery of the Science Museum
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Hill and Barnard sphygmomanometer with case, by J.Hicks, English, c.1897, lead for Hill and Barnard

A sphygmomanometer is used to measure blood pressure. A rubber cuff was inflated above the elbow to block the pulse in the lower arm. When the pulse disappeared, the sphygmomanometer needle stopped vibrating to give a reading. This type of sphygmomanometer was invented in the 1890s by Sir Leonard Hill (1866-1952), a British physiologist, and Harold Barnard (1868-1908), a British surgeon. Measuring blood pressure as part of a health check did not become common practice until the 1920s. The device was made by James Joseph Hickman (1837-1916), a scientific instrument maker. It is shown here in a display depicting a consultation with a doctor in 1900.

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Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete, glass, leather, rubber (unidentified) and silk
overall - case open: 112 mm x 230 mm x 368 mm, .658 kg
overall - tubing - lying flat: 147 mm x 325 mm x 380 mm, .106 kg
overall - case closed: 80 mm x 230 mm x 188 mm, .658 kg
overall - sphygmomanometer: 54 mm x 160 mm 120 mm, .772 kg
St. Marylebone and Western General Disp.

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