Blaufox Hall of Diagnostic Instruments to open in November!

wrist-bandDid you ever wonder where the stethoscope got its start? Or the ancestry of the blood-pressure cuff? We have a tendency to take diagnostic instruments for granted–but like every other medical tech invention, they developed and changed over time. Join us for a look backward, a chance to reflect not only on the practical progress of instruments, but on the awe-struck and childlike wonder with which the earliest practitioners listened in on the beating heart or the whisper-thrush of circulating blood!

On November 14 we will mark the completion of the M. Donald Blaufox Hall of Diagnostic Instruments with a special event.  Don and his wife Paulette are coming to Cleveland, with a Blaufox entourage, to celebrate the presentation of the Blaufox collection on the Dittrick balcony gallery area. I will open the evening with brief remarks of thanks and recognition, to be followed by Don’s own commentary on the joys and challenges of assembling such a distinguished collection of medical instruments. The evening begins at 6pm with the dedication and lecture in the Ford Auditorium, and will be followed by a reception in the museum (and the opening of the gallery). We hope you will join us! Please RSVP to Jennifer Nieves by November 11 to let us know if you plan to attend, either by phone at 216/369-3648 or email at

 The M. Donald Blaufox Hall of Diagnostic Instruments

Over a span of more than thirty years, Don Blaufox, and his wife Paulette, assembled an unmatched collection of historic diagnostic instruments.  This began out of Don’s professional interest in the medical past.  But it soon became a passionate and indefatigable search for elusive and rare examples of diagnostic instrumentation, with a special emphasis upon stethoscopes and instruments to measure the pulse and blood pressure.  At the time of its donation to the Dittrick Museum in 2008, the Blaufox Collection ranked as the most extensive and comprehensive of its kind in private hands The generous gift of this important collection by Don and Paulette Blaufox precipitated a complete outlined-ponds-MFrefurbishment of the balcony exhibit gallery of the Dittrick, becoming in the process the M. Donald Blaufox Hall of Diagnostic Instruments.

 The Collector: M. Donald Blaufox

Dr. Blaufox is Professor and University Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is a former Chairman of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and is the author of two hundred and ninety-two peer reviewed articles and book chapters on Nuclear Medicine, Hypertension and Medical History.  In addition, he is the Editor of the Seminars in Nuclear Medicine, the Yearbook of Nuclear Medicine and serves on the Editorial Board of six journals in related fields and he has authored or edited 25 books. He also has ninety-six chapters in books, and reviews in textbooks and journals. His latest books are Blood Pressure Measurement: An Illustrated History, and An Ear to the Chest: The Evolution of the Stethoscope. His interest in medical history grew out of a major collection of antique medical instruments, books and related items.  You may learn more about the Blaufox Collection by visiting the website of the Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts:

 Joel Howell to speak at opening of the Blaufox Hall

hammers-MFTo further mark the importance of this opening we have invited distinguished medical historian Joel D. Howell, M.D. to speak on the changing role of technology in medicine. Howell is the author of Technology in the hospital: Transforming patient care in the early twentieth century (1995) and has written widely on the use of medical technology, examining the social and contextual factors relevant to its clinical application and diffusion, analyzing why American medicine became obsessed with the use of medical technology.  For his presentation at the opening of Blaufox Hall, Dr. Howell will explore the impact of technology upon diagnosis and the dynamics of the physician-patient relationship.

Published by

Brandy Schillace

Historian and author Brandy Schillace, PhD, is Editor for Medhum Fiction | Daily Dose, Research Associate and Public Engagement at the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum, as well as Managing Editor of the medical anthropology journal Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.

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