Today’s Accidental Invention…The Implantable Pacemaker

An adjunct professor of engineering at the University of Buffalo, Wilson Greatbatch accidentally invented the pacemaker in 1956. When working on building equipment intended to record heart sounds, the scientist used the wrong transistor and discovered that instead of recording sounds, his device gave off an electrical pulse, mimicking that of the heart. Greatbatch presented his invention to William Chardack, a surgeon at Buffalo’s Veterans Administration Hospital, in 1958, and together the two were able to successfully control a dog’s heartbeat and, in 1960, a human’s.

heart pacemaker

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