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.

From THE ANNOTATED DRACULA by Leonard Wolf:

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?

2 comments:

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.