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Article
June 1958

"Necrophonia"

Author Affiliations

Cincinnati
From the Department of Otolaryngology College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;67(6):643-648. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730010659001
Abstract

You will not find the word "necrophonia" in any medical dictionary. I coined it to designate the laryngeal sounds which may appear under certain conditions as a spontaneous postmortem phenomenon. This may also be experimentally produced by certain manipulations of the dead larynx. A suitable subtitle of this paper might be "A myth is blasted" or "A ghost is unmasked." You will shortly understand the meaning of these phrases.

The idea of performing the experiments, which will be demonstrated, occurred to me about 12 years ago while preparing a paper which dealt with the history of the tuning fork tests.1 At this occasion I learned that Dr. Friedrich Hofmann, a general practitioner in Burgsteinfurt, a small place in Northern Germany, invented the perforated light reflector.2 From his biography3 I learned that he also was the author of an article which appeared in 1847 under the title "A

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