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Dudgeon sphygmograph, Edinburgh, Scotland, c. 1885-1900

Force, rate and variations in the pulse were recorded using a sphygmograph. The first practical version was devised in 1860 by French physician Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904). English physician and homeopath Robert Ellis Dudgeon (1820-1904) introduced this new, highly portable sphygmograph in 1881. It was strapped to the wrist. The pulse at the wrist caused a metal strip to move a stylus. This transmitted a record of the pulse onto smoked paper. It created a record of blood pressure and pulse over time. Dudgeon’s instrument quickly became popular because it was compact and easy to use. This example was owned and used by Scottish physician Sir James Mackenzie (1853-1925). Mackenzie was a leading cardiologist who developed many of his own instruments.

Object number:

A56269

 

Glossary:

Glossary: cardiology

The study of diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels.

Glossary: sphygmograph

An instrument used to measure the pulse. It records the strength and rate of a person's pulse. Records are recorded on graph paper.