Skip Navigation Bar

Guide to Collections Relating to the History of Artificial Internal Organs


Medtronic Inc.


710 Medtronic Parkway NE, Minneapolis MN 55432-5604


(763) 505-2635

Fax Number

(763) 505-3464


Contact Person

Robert Hanvik, Director, Global Public and Media Relations


Access and Services

Appointment required.


Medtronic, Inc. is a global leader in cardiac, neurological and spinal therapies. Current Medtronic therapies range from surviving heart failure, restoring damaged hearts, correcting degeneration of the spine, overcoming the physical devastation of Parkinson's disease, controlling chronic pain, severe spasticity and debilitating tremor, to treating the symptoms of cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury.



Medtronic Inc. Collection, 1949-present

Collection ID


Approximately 100 pacemaker models, not exclusively Medtronics products; photographs and reproductions of news items; possibly some additional historical materials.

Biographical Note

Medtronic was founded in 1949 by Earl Bakken and Palmer J. Hermundslie. Since developing the first wearable external cardiac pacemaker in 1957 and manufacturing the first reliable long-term implantable pacing system in 1960, Medtronic has been the world's leading producer of pacing technology. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Medtronic today is primarily focused on providing therapeutic, diagnostic, and monitoring systems for the cardiac rhythm management, cardiovascular, emergency medicine, neurological and spinal markets.

Collection Description

An historical display is located at the Medtronic building in Findley. The display, mounted c. 1984, is an attractive and informative wall (case) display in the building lobby, and showcases pacemaker developments. Black and white portraits of innovators and contributors in pacemaker developments line the top the display; below which are numerous mounted photos and magazine covers illustrating both innovators and patients (including a photo of Arne Larson, the first recipient of a pacemaker in 1956, implanted by Ake Senning and Rune Elmquist in Sweden in 1956). The display showcases approximately 80-100 pacemakers - and not exclusively Medtronic devices. There are pacemakers from other American companies as well as international companies (ie, Italy, Germany). The display covers the period predominantly 1950s to 1980s, tracing early pacing to lithium battery innovations to defibrillation.

Finding Aid

Inventory listing currently being compiled.


Permission from Medtronics required.

Related Material

See "The Story of Medtronic," an historical booklet published in 1999 by Medtronics, Inc. in celebration of their 50-year history.

Refer also to collections at The Bakken Museum - Artifact Collection and Pioneers in Pacing Oral History Collection.