993.3.1: Phonendoscope, 1895-1909

Additional Images

993.3.1: Phonendoscope.
Image No. 1839 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

Bazzi & Bianchi's phonendoscope, a small circular unit with two diaphragm membranes placed next to each other. A solid metal rod is screwed onto the top of the unit for carrying and when in use was attached to the detachable diaphragm topped with a small gutta-percha chest piece. The long earpieces and the metal tube adapters [which fit into the top of the unit] would be attached to rubber tubing which is missing. The leather case may not be original.
The phonendoscope intensified the auscultatory sounds and the small chest piece, fixed to the rod, fitted between the ribs to convey a better sound. This was most useful in picking up low pitched sounds from the respiratory tract.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 993.3.1
Collection: Diagnostic, Clinical
Date: 1895-1909

Object Dimensions

  • Height: 2.5 cm
  • Diameter: 6 cm

Object Parts

  • a) Diaphragm with rod attached
  • b) Detachable diaphragm
  • c) Earpiece
  • d) Earpiece
  • e) Tube fitting
  • f) Tube fitting
  • g) Small chest piece for rod
  • h) Case

Object Materials

  • copper alloy,
  • gutta-percha,
  • leather,
  • metal,
  • plastic,
  • plating,
  • vulcanised rubber

Acquisition Detail

  • Manufacturer: Pilling, George P., & Son Co.
  • Patent Country: U.S.Patent Number: 126.09Patent Date: 1894-10-02
  • Owner: Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken
  • History of Use: Dr. J.S. Helmcken (1820-1920) settled in Fort Victoria [new headquarters for the Hudson's Bay Company] in 1850 and was the first president of the British Columbia Medical Society in 1885. The phonendoscope was also used by his son Dr. James Douglas Helmcken who was BCMA president in 1912.