Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chapter Five: Lucy Has Three Offers

I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at the phonograph Dr. Seward employs to keep his patient notes.


The phonograph was invented by Thomas A. Edison in 1877.  What appears to be the first use of a phonograph in medical recordkeeping is described in Science where A. D. Blodgett a Massachusetts physican, is quoted as follows:

"We got a record from an actual patient in an actual examination which was reproducible and could be understood.  I am sure that anyone with a little practice could use this machine as a way to obtain durable and trustworthy records from the lips of the patients.  Any instrument of this kind might be made portable, and a visiting physician in a hospital might give his directions into a funnel, when they would be recorded on a small cylinder, which can be put on another machine, and a physician's directions as to treatment can thus be accurately recorded.  This record is got by means of a graphophone, which is used a great deal in conjunction with the typewriter.  In medico-legal cases I think it would be of great service because the utterances of the patient could be reproduced at an indefinite period afterward."

We've come a long way, haven't we?


Carrie said...

That is cool. I love learning new thing.

Anna (Bite Club) said...

Michele always finds cool information! I can't even comprehend how people thought of these inventions but I imagine that living back then was truly a wonder.