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A stethometer is used to measure how far the chest expands during breathing. These measurements are useful in diagnosing a disease such as tuberculosis, which in its advanced state can reduce how well a person is able to breathe. This object was owned by John Harley, a physician who worked at King’s College Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital (both in London) during his career. The stethometer was made by Robert Brettell Bate, an optical and mathematical instrument maker.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: stethometer

An apparatus for measuring the external movements of a given point of the chest wall, during respiration; also called thoracometer.

Glossary: tuberculosis

An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.