JOHN GREIM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN GREIM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Stethoscope. A Monayral stethoscope, dated 1892. This 19th century listening device had its flat end placed on the chest, while the doctor listened from the other end. It was the French physician Rene Laennec (1781-1826) who invented the stethoscope. It was well known at the time that listening to chest sounds (auscultation) and tapping the chest (percussion) were useful in diagnosis. In 1816, as an aid to this, Laennec made his first stethoscope, a wooden tube 30 centimetres long which was used to connect the chest of the patient with the ear of the doctor. It was not dissimilar in appearance to the Monayral stethoscope.
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