Bloch type sphygmomanometer, Paris, France, 1881-1913

Made:
1881-1913 in Paris
maker:
Charles Verdin

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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

Bloch sphygmomanometer by Verdin, in silk (deteriorating) lined case, by C. Verdin, French

The first 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. However, the instrument was not widely used as doctors were wary of replacing traditional methods of using their fingers to determine pulse or that any information from the sphygmomanometer was useful. This variation was devised by A. M. Bloch. It uses a spring to record the weight necessary to obliterate the pulse. The device was made in Paris by scientific instrument maker Charles Verdin.