Endoscope replica presented to Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine

20 April 2012

The EAU History Office’s activities at the 27th Annual EAU Congress were complemented by a ceremony at Paris’s Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine. In an historic moment, Dr. Figdor presented a replica of a monumental endoscope. The device is a reconstruction of a unique one-time model that appeared in 1807, two years after the introduction of the Bozzini model. The “Vienna model” featured many refinements that would prove to be ahead of their time. References to the “lost” model were found partly by chance by Dr. Figdor in his research on the Bozzini scope.

The replicas were built by Karl Storz Endoskope, with one being donated to the museum of medical history. The handover took place in the presence of Prof. Manfred Wirth, who spoke at the occasion on behalf of the EAU. He commended Dr. Figdor for his efforts in documenting the history of their profession.
While superficially similar to the Frankfurt “Bozzini” model, which is considered the first true endoscope, the Vienna model differs in two crucial ways. Firstly, its prongs (shaft) separate simultaneously with a single twist of the mechanism, compared to the individual adjustments required in the earlier model. Secondly, by using a perforated mirror for illumination as well as for observation, the model does not require two channels. This simplifies the construction, and allows for not one but two candles to be used in the housing.

Development of this model was suspended due to time constraints and the political-military concerns of the Napoleonic wars. The improvements found in this Viennese model would find their way to other medical instruments in the latter half of the 19th century.


This article is part of a larger article about the EAU History Office’s activities at the Congress, to be published in the forthcoming edition of European Urology Today.