This stethoscope is made from wood and ivory. While it looks very different from what doctors use to listen to patients’ hearts today, they function in similar ways. The ivory section of the device would be pressed against the patient’s body while the physician would listen to a heartbeat or breathing patterns through the other end.

Bibliographic Information:

Stethoscope, 1850, wood, ivory, L: 7 x D: 2 in. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown, New York, F0033.1976.