January 26, 2013

How Large Breasts Inspired the Stethoscope

Matt Soniak, Mental Floss

AP Photo

In 1816, French physician Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec had a young woman on his exam table, and no idea what to do with her. She’d come in complaining of chest pains, and their conversation and the examination up to that point suggested a diseased heart, but Laennec wasn’t sure how he would confirm that.

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TAGGED: Acoustics, Breasts, Stethoscopes