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  Patronage of the Polish Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics

vol 8. no 2. June 2009  

 Review articles
History of the laryngeal mirror. Controversy on priority
Stanis³aw Betlejewski, Andrzej Betlejewski

The advent of laryngology as a separate medical specialization was made possible by a series of favourable developments, in both technology and medical practice: improved means of illumination and observation with the use of the laryngeal mirror and the technique of laryngoscopy. The first successful use of a small dental mirror to examine the larynx was not by a physician but by a Spanish singer and teacher of singing, Manuel Garcia, who had fled France during the revolution of 1848 and settled in London. Garcia was successful in his efforts to view the function of his own vocal folds in September of 1854. He subsequently demonstrated this technique before the Royal Society of London and presented his paper entitled “Observations on the Human Voice”. Unaware of Garcia’s invention, Ludwig Türck, a neurologist occupied himself in the wards of the Vienna General Hospital during the summer of 1857 with the little laryngeal mirror he had constructed himself and carried out the laryngoscopy by means of sunlight on the patients of his department. Without rushing his findings into print, he lent one of his mirrors to Johann Nepomuk Czermak, a physiologist born in Praque. Czermak soon published an his effects on the use of laryngoscopy with artificial illumination to examine patients with diseases of the larynx. Thus began a long-drawn-out battle of claims, polemics between two bitter rivals for priority. Rivalry between the two pioneer laryngoscopists was undoubtedly painful for them, but most useful for the new branch of science. Laryngology becomes a separate medical specialization and some years later, in 1870 the first clinic of laryngology in the world was established in the Vienna General Hospital with Leopold Schrötter as its head

keywords: laryngoskopia, Manuel Garcia, Johann Czermak, Ludwig Türck, historia, laryngoscopy, Manuel Garcia, Johann Czermak, Ludwig Türck, history

pages: from 61 to 65

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