The movie Frankenstein inspired eight-year-old Earl Bakken to consider how electricity could restore life and health to the human body. Bakken went on to invent the first external cardiac pacemaker and to co-found medtech giant Medtronic in 1949. Bakken’s fascination with the effects of electricity on the human body continued throughout his career, and he amassed a collection of medical and health-related devices that now reside in The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis.
Bakken kept up the collection, and not just as showpieces. He wanted Medtronic’s engineers and other employees to learn from them, according to Adrian Fischer, the museum’s curator of exhibits and collections. “He was really convinced that by looking at the past, we could get key insights of where we may go in the future,” Fischer said.
Fischer recently allowed Medical Design & Outsourcing into The Bakken’s backroom for a private tour. Here are nine items we found there, designed to cure what ails us. They should pique your curiosity – and maybe raise the hair on the back of your neck.