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Correspondence |

Einthoven’s Machine Is Alive and Well Today, Although His Contemporaries Were Not Interested In It At All FREE TO VIEW

Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP
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George Washington University, Washington, DC

Correspondence to: Tsung O. Cheng, MD, FCCP, George Washington University, Division of Cardiology, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20037-3201; e-mail: tcheng@mfa.gwu.edu



Chest. 2006;129(4):1114. doi:10.1378/chest.129.4.1114
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To the Editor:

I read with interest Soffer’s editorial in CHEST (August 2005)1 on Einthoven’s invention of the ECG machine, particularly the title of the editorial “Einthoven’s Machine, Alive and Well.” It might be of interest from an historical standpoint to go back to Einthoven’s time. As was noted by Dock in his 1980 postcard to this author (Fig 1 ), “the internists of Amsterdam, Leiden, the Hague were not interested in Einthoven’s galvanometer.”

Einthoven’s contemporary Wenckebach (Einthoven, 1860–1927; Wenckebach, 1864–1940) experienced the same fate. As Dock continued in his postcard, “Wencke, with whom I studied in Vienna, described all the classic patterns except those of infarction. In 1979, when we visited [the] ECG lab of his hospital, no one had ever heard of him.” Dock went on to conclude his card by saying, “Such is fame, Sutton & Dock will go same way.” Here, of course, Dock was referring to his famous “Sutton’s Law.”2

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1. Postcard from Dock to this author in 1980 about Einthoven.Grahic Jump Location
Soffer, A (2005) Einthoven’s machine, alive and well.Chest128,487-488. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Cheng, TO William Dock.Am J Cardiol1999;84,1212-1225
 

Figures

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1. Postcard from Dock to this author in 1980 about Einthoven.Grahic Jump Location

Tables

References

Soffer, A (2005) Einthoven’s machine, alive and well.Chest128,487-488. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Cheng, TO William Dock.Am J Cardiol1999;84,1212-1225
 
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