This monoaural stethoscope was made by Chas F. Thackray between 1905 and 1915. Like the original stethoscope it was made from one piece of wood to improve resonance through the instrument, though this example was longer than usual (31cm) in an attempt to protect the doctor from infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Binaural stethoscopes had been developed by this period, but here the monoaural design allowed the doctor both to keep their distance and turn their face away from the patient whilst listening to their body.
What do you think of the design of this stethoscope? Do you think there might be any ethical issues with using such equipment?
The stethoscope was made by Chas F. Thackray in Leeds between 1905 and 1915. Stamped onto the stethoscope is: C. F. THACKRAY / LEEDS. It appears to have had a least one owner as the initials M.W. are scratched onto it. It was purchased by the Thackray Museum of Medicine in 1998. Object reference 986.001.
The Thackray Museum of Medicine is based in Leeds, UK, and houses the collection of the Thackray family, who developed a major medical supply firm over the course of the twentieth century. The museum was opened in 1997 to enable the wider public to learn more about the story of medicine and has recently undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment.
For more information visit www.thackraymuseum.co.uk