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June 6, 1966

First American Electrocardiography

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

JAMA. 1966;196(10):918. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100230162048

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To the Editor:—  Chapman's interesting letter reflects considerations expressed to us previously by others. Our facts are expressed in Dr. A. E. Cohn's letter as published in our book A History of Electrocardiography. Dr. Cohn's electrocardiograph was brought to the United States in the fall of 1909 on the SS Adriatic. It is unlikely that both Dr. Cohn's and Dr. Barker's electrocardiographs were on the same boat. Unless this was the case, only one instrument reached America first and to this instrument that priority rightfully belongs. The time of arrival of Dr. Cohn's electrocardiograph in America is beyond doubt. From conversations and correspondence with many people, including Dr. Francis Dieuaide, we are satisfied that Dr. Barker's instrument reached America after Dr. Cohn's. Dr. Chapman's recommendation of dual priority is an unsatisfactory compromise. He knows very well that a dispute over a historical fact cannot be settled by a vote. Furthermore,

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