Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology

By Lance Day; Ian McNeil | Go to book overview

L

Laënnec, René Théophile Hyacinthe

b. 16 February 1781 Quimper, France

d. 13 August 1826 Paris, France


French physician, inventor of the stethoscope.

Laënnec commenced his medical career assisting his uncle, a physician of Nantes, Brittany. On moving to Paris he studied under Corvisart, Napoleon's friend and personal physician, and Dupuytren. Appointed Physician to the Necker Hospital in 1816, his difficulties in examining an obese patient led him to make a roll of paper and, placing one end on the patient's chest and his ear to the other, he found that he could hear the heart sounds much more clearly; although auscultation had been practised in medicine since the time of Hippocrates (fl. 400 BC), its inconvenience and distastefulness made the stethoscope an instrument which soon gained wide acceptance. As a consequence, a large number of new auditory phenomena were reported in the immediately ensuing years. In his book, published in 1819, he described the instrument as 'a cylinder of wood an inch and a half in diameter and a foot long, perforated by a bore three lines wide and hollowed out into a funnel shape at one of its extremities'.

By now he had contracted tuberculosis and retired to Brittany to recover. In 1822 he accepted the Chair of Medicine in the College of France, but he suffered a relapse and died four years later, ironically of the same disease that his invention had done so much to facilitate the diagnosis of.


Bibliography
1819, Traité de l'auscultation médiate, Paris.

Further Reading
W. Hale-White, 1923, Laënnec: Translation of Selected Papers from 'de l'Auscultation médiate', with a Biography, London.
H. Saintignon, 1904, Laënnec, sa vie et son oeuvre, Paris.
Z. Cope, 1957, Sidelights from the History of Medicine.

MG


Laird, John

b. 1805 (?) Greenock, Scotland

d. 26 October 1874 Birkenhead, England


Scottish pioneer of large-scale iron shipbuilding.

When only 5 years old, Laird travelled with his family to Merseyside, where his father William Laird was setting up a ship-repair yard. Fourteen years later his father established the Birkenhead Ironworks for ship and engine repairs, which in later years was to achieve great things with John Laird at the helm. John Laird trained as a solicitor, but instead of going into practice he joined the family business. Between 1829 and 1832 they built three iron barges for inland use in Ireland; this form of construction had become less of a novelty and followed the example set by Thomas Wilson in 1819, but Laird was fired with enthusiasm for this mode of construction. New iron ships followed in rapid succession, with two of especial note: the paddle steamer Lady Lansdown of 1833, which was dismantled and later re-erected on the river Shannon, becoming one of Britain's first 'knock-down' contracts; and the early steamer Robert F. Stockton, which had a double Ericsson screw propeller and the first iron transverse watertight bulkheads. With the good name of the shipyard secure, they received orders from MacGregor Laird (John Laird's younger brother) for iron ships for the West African trade. This African connection was to grow and the yard's products were to include the Ma Roberts for Dr David Livingstone. Being of steel and with constant groundings on African rivers, this craft only lasted 18 months in steady operation. In 1858 a new yard dedicated to iron construction was opened at Monk's Ferry. In 1861 John Laird was returned as the first Member of Parliament for Birkenhead and his sons took over the day-to-day affairs of the business. Laird was to suffer acute embarrassment by questions at Westminster over the building in the Birkenhead Works of the United States Confederate raider Alabama in 1862. In 1874 he suffered serious injuries in a riding accident; his health declined and he died later that year.

-412-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 844

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.