The stethoscope is an acoustic medical device used to listen to the internal sounds of the human body. It has become the symbol of the authority of every Doctor or health practitioner.

Modern Day Stethoscope
Modern Day Stethoscope

Before the current version of a modern stethoscope, there have been others before it. So that it is believed that Rene Laennec (1816), invented the stethoscope because he was uncomfortable placing his ear on women’s chests to hear heart sounds.


And for the tale to claim that Doctors never forgave Lennac? I wouldn’t even know how he pulled through making doctors use his version of a stethoscope… I hear it is quite crude, more like a trumpet. It was wooden and monoaural, ie you get to hear sound only with one ear. See his own version below

Laennecs Stethoscope (Science Museum, London).
Laennecs Stethoscope (Science Museum, London).

In 1851, Irish physician Arthur Leared invented a binaural stethoscope, and in 1852 George Philip Cammann perfected the design of the stethoscope instrument (that used both ears) for commercial production, which has become the standard ever since.

Rappaport and Sprague designed a new stethoscope in the 1940s, which became the standard by which other stethoscopes are measured, consisting of two sides, one of which is used for the respiratory system, the other for the cardiovascular system.



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