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March 1997


Arch Surg. 1997;132(3):324. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430270110030

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In this plate taken from Murphy's original paper, titled "Cholecysto-Intestinal, Gastro-Intestinal, Entero-Intestinal Anastomosis, and Approximation Without Sutures (Original Research)," his device is shown with and without its spring-cup attachment.

It is rare that a single mechanical device can revolutionize certain aspects of operative surgery. However, such was the case when John Benjamin Murphy (1857-1916) introduced his "Murphy button" in the Medical Record (1892; 42:665-676). Born in Appleton, Wis, Murphy received his MD degree from Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill (1879) and served 18 months as an intern at Cook County (Illinois) Hospital before establishing his own private practice. In 1882, he traveled to Europe and spent 2 years studying surgery in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Munich, Germany, and Vienna, Austria. Returning to Chicago, Murphy reestablished his office for the practice of surgery, and 10 years later was named professor of clinical surgery at that city's College of Physicians and Surgeons, later

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