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September 16, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(12):1150. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800370066028

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To the Editor:—  A few months ago one of the popular monthly magazines carried an article telling about recent inventions that had been of benefit to humanity and referred to the electric saw as an instrument of present day development.While there have been some modifications in design by different men during the past thirty years, the electric osteotome was invented and in use in the eighties.The following description of an electric bone cutter is taken from the Provincial Medical Journal of 1889 and is a quotation from the Electrical Engineer (London) of Aug. 3, 1888:Removal of sections of bone in surgical operations has heretofore been a long, tedious process, effected with a mallett, chisel, gouges, etc. It is, perhaps, the most brutal and unscientific method which could be adopted, and sounds like the operative butchery which existed in the last century. According to the Electrical Engineer, August

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