19th Century Wooden Stethoscope

We have two 19th century wooden stethoscopes in our History of Medicine Collection. 

The stethoscope was invented in France in 1816 by René Laennec at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris. It consisted of a wooden tube. Laennec invented the stethoscope because he didn't feel comfortable placing his ear directly onto a woman's chest to listen to her heart.

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