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Model 3831 cardiac pacemaker, England, 1970-1976

Artificial cardiac pacemakers were developed in the 1960s. They emit regulated electrical impulses. These stimulate the contraction of the heart muscles to provide sufficient rate of heartbeat. A pacemaker is implanted into the chest of a person whose natural pacemaker is too slow or who has a condition where the electrical pulses are impaired. This Model 3831 cardiac pacemaker was made by Devices Limited. It was powered by four mercury-zinc batteries. One million people worldwide are now fitted with pacemakers.

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    Glossary: pacemaker

    An abbreviation for ‘cardiac pacemaker’. It is a small device implanted in the heart that consists of electrodes. The electrodes emit electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart.

    Glossary: cardiac pacemaker

    Refers to the cells which emit impulses that control the contractions of the heart, regulating its beat. Can also refer to devices used to create these impulses artificially, if the heart’s ability to do so has been damaged.