Not long ago a prominent clinician of Chicago requested the writer to contrive an apparatus by which chest contours could be accurately measured and recorded. Such an instrument was said to be needed by those who specialize in diseases of the thorax or who have any occasion to record thoracic conditions for statistical or other purposes.
The writer's first attempt to solve the problem given him by the clinician was a rather expensive experiment, with an instrument which consisted of about twelve curved lever arms, which came down to the thoracic walls, touching its circumference at any desired plane. The short arm of these levers was provided with a needle which pricked in a paper a line of holes which represented the chest contour. This was found to be a faulty apparatus in several important points, and it was discarded.
One day the writer saw
HALL WS. THE CHEST-PANTOGRAPH.ITS PHYSIOLOGIC SIGNIFICANCE AND ITS CLINICAL APPLICATION.. JAMA. 1903;XL(9):567–568. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490090015001f