Portable medical accessories have changed dramatically over the years, from the family physician’s iconic leather satchel to today’s pocket health-monitoring devices—cellphones and health apps.
1. Mid- to late 1960s 2. Late 1960s/early 1970s 3. 1970s 4. Early 1960s 5. Late 1970s 6. Early 1980s 7. Current 8. Late 1970s 9. Current (implantable cardiac defibrillator) Photograph: Rachael Porter, featuring the collection of Howard Allen, MD Read On
The Schiøtz tonometer tested eye pressure by measuring the indentation made when pressed gently into a patient’s numbed cornea.
The Schimmelbusch mask, invented in 1890 and named for its German creator, introduced a portable, hygienic way to put someone under for surgery.
Cedars-Sinai’s Historical Conservancy maintains an extensive collection of donated artifacts such as Ingram’s bicycle horn-style breast pump, which was operated by repeatedly squeezing a rubber suction bulb.
In the early 20th century, the dye bromsulphalein was used to test liver function. A patient would be injected with the dye and then, about 30 minutes later, blood was drawn and put into a centrifuge to separate out a clear serum. The serum was mixed with a chemical solution to bring out the color of the dye, which was compared to a set of color standards.