Pocket monaural stethoscope, circa 1870

Pocket monaural stethoscope, circa 1870

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Three-piece pocket monaural stethoscope (assembled), made from ivorine and nickel. French physician, Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec originally invented the monaural stethoscope in 1816. The design is essentially a hollow metal cylinder, the bell shaped end would be placed on the patient's body and the flat end, to the physician's ear. The three parts (two small tubes and ivorine disk) can be taken apart to make the device more compact and portable. Monaural stethoscopes were the earliest form of diagnostic device for listening to internal sounds of the body (auscultation). This object dates from 1870, England.

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