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September 3, 1910

The Whistle in the Stomach, Who Blew It First? A Question of Priority

JAMA. 1910;55(10):879. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330100065029

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To the Editor:—  The story is different from that told by Benjamin Franklin, but the moral is strikingly similar.Eleven or twelve years ago I was possessed by the ambition to devise a method by means of which the exact length of the esophagus migh be clinically determined. While waiting for inspiration I did the customary thing I whistled. Like Newton's discovery of the law of gravitation at seeing the apple fall, to me, likewise, came the idea while "wetting my whistle." Since my whistling at the esophagus and my whistling for the esophagus were like "whistling jigs to a milestone," why, thought I, whistling, not try to whistle into the esophagus? The result was that I did some more whistling and succeeded in hearing the sound of a whistle issuing from the innermost recesses of the abdominal viscera. To my ear it sounded like the first cry of my

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