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June 6, 1966

First American Electrocardiography

JAMA. 1966;196(10):917-918. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100230161047

To the Editor:—  I recently had occasion to read the very fine history of electrocardiography written by Burch and DePasquale1 and wish that more authorities of such eminence would devote time to producing scholarly accounts of the development of medical concepts and techniques. It seems, however, that they have overlooked the very early work done by Lewellys Barker and colleagues at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1909 onward, and it seems fair to call attention to it.In their excellent book, Professor Burch and Dr. DePasquale assign credit for introducing the first electrocardiograph into this country to Dr. Alfred Cohn, then working at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The year was 1909 and there is little reason to question Cohn's statement, quoted in the book, that he brought an Edelmann electrocardiograph, made in Munich, to New York in the early autumn of that year. But if it was actually

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