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Hirtz's compass for locating bullets, Paris, France, 1915

The Hirtz compass was invented in 1907 by E J Hirtz, a French medical officer and head of physiotherapy at a military hospital. The brass device was used to accurately determine where bullets were located in the body, especially the brain. Bullets could then be removed surgically with precision thereby reducing damage to the surrounding areas of the body. X-rays were also used to guide the surgeon. This example dates from the First World War.

Object number:

A182732 Pt1

Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: bullet locator

No description.

Glossary: x-rays

A wave of electromagnetic radiation that has high energy and short wavelength. It is able to pass through many materials, except those of high density such as metals or bones. Discovered in 1895 by William Roentgen.

Glossary: physiotherapy

Exercise helpful to those with physical illness, for example stroke, or back injuries. A physical therapist is a specialist trained in using exercise and physical activities to condition and improve muscles.