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September 28, 1964

A History of Electrocardiography

JAMA. 1964;189(13):1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070130054032

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This is a valuable and interesting compendium of information about the electrocardiogram, its development from earliest beginnings to the present day, and the many physiologists and clinicians who achieved this development. The story is well told, in the simple, nontechnical manner which has characterized so much of the senior author's teaching style. While a large amount of mathematics might have been included, the authors have avoided all but elementary arithmetic.

After an introductory chapter the text begins with an account of the development of recording apparatus, from the earliest experiments of Galvani, through the capillary electrometer to the string galvanometer and other modern instruments. There follows a chapter of biographies, the first of which is a delightful sketch of the life and work of the central figure, Willem Einthoven. All the other biographies are extremely short: it would have been interesting, and also appropriate, to have had fuller accounts of

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