Stories from the Museum

People and their histories of medical technology

Company founders, inventors, researchers, doctors, nurses, engineers - everyone of them has a story to tell.

Multiprogrammable pacemaker 668, 1983
A Lifesaver in a Plastic Cup

Although lives depend on them, they do their job entirely unnoticed: Today’s cardiac pacemakers are generally only slightly larger than a two-euro coin, weigh just a few grams, and are implanted in the patient’s chest wall. Until relatively recently, however, matters were very different. Read more

Carl Helmut Hertz (left) and Inge Edler with the Siemens ultrasound device optimized for medical us
A Honeymoon at Siemens

If, on your honeymoon, you tell your wife that you need to leave her for a while to do some work in an ultrasound research laboratory at Siemens, you really need to have a good reason. Fortunately for Carl Hellmuth Hertz, he had a very good one. Read more

Angiograph Siemens 1950
A rubber tube to the heart

While slipping quietly through the rooms of the Auguste-Victoria Hospital in the German town of Eberswalde in Brandenburg, the young assistant physician Werner Forssmann (1904-1979) devised a highly unusual experiment – with himself as the subject. Read more

Siemens MedMuseum - From uroscopy to large-scale automated lab
From uroscopy to large-scale automated lab

Blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile – 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates of Kos, arguably the best-known physician in history, suspected that bodily fluids influenced our health. With his doctrine of the “humors,” he and his followers paved the way for the systematic study of bodily fluids. Read more

Mobile Headset
Mobile headset from yesteryear?

In 1878, Werner von Siemens built a telephone with a horseshoe magnet, considerably improving voice quality compared to the first models. At the same time, it was discovered that many people with hearing loss find it easier to follow a conversation when the signal is amplified through electrical means. Read more

Siemens MedMuseum Museum stories Electromedicine
An electrifying discovery?

From having your hair stand on end to getting a jolt of static electricity – electricity definitely affects the body, and it is even responsible for controlling many bodily functions. It is what causes nerves to communicate, and electrical impulses are what stimulate the muscles. Read more

Siemens MedMuseum museum stories MRI Patient bell pepper
The first patient: a bell pepper

It all started out with a bell pepper. In February 1978, Siemens began developing a new technology for medical imaging in Erlangen, a technology that would come to be known today as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Read more