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Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs

repositories

Bakken Library and Museum



address

3537 Zenith Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55416-4623


Telephone

(612) 926-3878 X 217


Fax Number

(612) 927-7265


Website

www.thebakken.org



Contact Person

Ellen R. Kuhfeld, Ph.D, Curator of Instruments


email

kuhfeld@thebakken.org



Access and Services

The Bakken Library and Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00 pm. Material in the collection is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:30 pm by appointment for scholarly research.



Abstract

The Bakken Library and Museum is a private, nonprofit educational institution that collects books, instruments, and archival materials related to the history of electricity and magnetism in medicine and the life sciences. The Bakken promotes a broad humanistic understanding of science and its role in history. Their primary audiences are students, teachers, scholars, and the general public. Earl E. Bakken, inventor of the first transistorized cardiac pacemaker, founded the Bakken in 1975.




Collections


title/date

The Artifact Collection, late 18th century-20th century



Collection ID


Quantity

Approximately 2,000 instruments and machines



Biographical Note

The collection takes its name from Earl Bakken (b. 1924), who grew up in Minneapolis and received his training in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota. In 1949 he co-founded Medtronic, which began by repairing medical electronic equipment, but soon began to sell and modify equipment, and to design and produce special-purpose devices. In 1957, working with Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, a cardiac surgeon at the University of Minnesota, Mr. Bakken developed the first wearable, external, battery-powered, transistorized pacemaker. By 1960, Medtronic had become an established manufacturer of biomedical engineering devices, and in that same year began producing and marketing an implantable, portable pacemaker -- that is, one that could be worn internally and that allowed the patient to move about freely. Today, Medtronic is a leader in the medical technology field and the world's largest manufacturer of cardiac pacemakers



Collection Description

The focus is on the historical role of electricity and magnetism in the life sciences and medicine; this encompasses the history of electricity, electrophysiology, and electrotherapeutics, and their accompanying instrumentation. Collecting emphasis is on the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. The collection includes electrostatic generators, magneto-electric generators, induction coils, physiological instruments, recording devices, x-ray and light apparatus. Exhibit highlights include several Oudin and D'Arsonval coils (French, 1895-1920), a line-powered external pacemaker (the Electrodyne PM-65), USA circa 1955); the first pacemaker made by Earl Bakken in collaboration with Dr. C.Walton Lillehei; and a powerful eye magnet (USA, circa 1960). The recently installed Frankenstein exhibit is "object theatre" with an electro-resuscitation laboratory from Mary Shelley's day (many items, various provenance, circa 1800-1840) and a soundtrack-with-effects program faithful to the original text of Frankenstein (1818). The Bakken has a particularly deep collection of electrostatic generators c. 1800, medical induction coils from the second half of the 19th century, radionics devices inspired by Albert Abrams, and physiological devices designed by Etienne-Jules Marey. In relation to the history of artificial organs, the Bakken is actively acquiring modern pacemakers, and now has more than 200 of them including:

  • Medtronic's first pacemaker and Earl Bakken's hand-drawn schematic for it
  • Walt Lillehei's pet pacemaker, from Medtronic's first production run of ten or so
  • Electrodyne PM-65, one of the earlier, line-powered external pacemakers
  • Carl Beck's AC defibrillator, 1947
  • Oral histories - re: heart and pacemaker program - with Earl Bakken, Walt Lillehei and others
  • Collection of publications covering Dr. Albert Hyman's 1930s invention and use of an emergency pacemaker
  • Experimental implanted bladder stimulator, c.1960, made by Dr. Shelley Nien-chun Chou


Finding Aid

An accessions database is maintained by the curator and may be used by researchers interested in the instrument collections.



Restrictions

None



Related Material

The Bakken Library Collection includes approximately 11,000 books, journals, and manuscripts. The focus of the collection is on the history of electricity and magnetism and their applications in the life sciences and medicine.




title/date

Pioneers in Pacing Video Series, circa 1980-1988



Collection ID


Quantity

Approximately 30 interviews



Biographical Note

This video series was undertaken by Earl Bakken and sponsored by Medtronic.



Collection Description

The series includes interviews with individuals selected by Earl Bakken as pioneers in the field of pacing. The length of each interview varies from 30 to 90 minutes. The following lists individuals interviewed in this series:

  • Callahan, Jack Hopps;
  • Paul Zoll; Paul Laurens;
  • Wilson Greatbatch;
  • Leonardo Camilli;
  • Jeffery Davies;
  • Ake Senning;
  • Walter Keller;
  • David Nathan, Sol Center;
  • Jack M. Matloff, Agustin Castellanos;
  • Doris Escher;
  • C.Walton Lillehei;
  • Dwight Harken, Barouh Berkovits;
  • Victor Parsonnet;
  • Sam Hunter;
  • W.G. Bigelow;
  • Barouh Berkovits;
  • Arne Larsson;
  • William Glenn;
  • Sam Stephenson, Jr.;
  • Adrian Kantrowitz;
  • Seymour Furman;
  • Rune Elmquist;
  • Leon Abrams;
  • John Ulster;
  • Hans Lagergreen;
  • Kozo Suma, Tatsuo Togawa;
  • Gordon Moe;
  • Brian Hoffman;
  • Fred Zaconto


Finding Aid

Database listing of video series available from curator; some interviews not catalogued.



Restrictions

No restrictions in viewing series; permission of the interviewee (or estate) required regarding publication.



Related Material

Bakken Library Collection; Medtronic Inc. Collection