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Pioneers of the Medical Device Industry in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Earl E. Bakken
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Earl E. Bakken was born and educated in Minnesota. He started Medtronic Inc. and developed many medical devices including the first battery operated pacemaker and the first implantable pacemaker. He founded the Bakken Library and Museum in Minneapolis. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: December 19, 1995 Conversazione: One in a series of informal talks on the medical device industry sponsored by the Bakken Library and Museum. January 10, 1997: Description of first battery operated pacemaker; production model; changes and improvements to the model; prototype; design features; how it was worn; internal workings; price; competition; assistance. August 28, 1997: Childhood fascination with electricity; influence of Frankenstein movie; science fiction; devices he built as a child; using talent to help others; influential magazines; teaching in the Air Corps; college experiences; leadership opportunities; interest in research; science teachers; radiotelephone license; Medtronic journal, club to learn medical terminology; how Medtronic began. September 11, 1997: More on pacemaker design, heart fibrillation; voltage divider circuit; vacuum tube devices; why he used a transistor in the first battery operated pacemaker; circuit for the pacemaker; reliability of transistors; batteries; epoxy resin; transformers; special therapeutic devices; "ready, fire, aim" philosophy. February 1, 1998: Medtronic 5800 pacemaker; patent; implantable pacemakers; differing doctor response to internal and external pacemakers; magnitude of health improvement with pacemaker use; public response; different ways to show output; why the first battery operated pacemaker was developed; color and purpose of blinking light; discussion of different models. May 3, 1999: Bakken addresses a group of students assembled at the Bakken Library and Museum. August 28, 2000: Bakken's interest in electricity and Frankenstein; Frankenstein story as inspiration and social commentary; influence of mother and teachers; building robots; founding of, educational programs of, and future plans, hopes and dreams for the Bakken Library and Museum. Video logs are available in the Oral History Office.
3 hours sound cassette
3.5 hours videocassette
83 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: moving images
Content Category: text
04:41:43 running time
Interviewer: Rhees, David J. Ph.D.
Interviewee: Bakken, Earl E. (Earl Elmer)
Made in: Fridley, Anoka County, Minnesota, United States
Made in: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Made in: Hawaii, United States
Creation: 12/19/1995 - 08/28/2000 (Conversazione (informal talk) recorded 12/19/1995; audio interviews: 1/10/1997, 8/28/1997, 9/11/1997 and 2/1/1998; and video interviews: 5/3/1999 and 8/28/2000.)
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 87 (Library Call Number)
AV2001.104.3 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Pioneers of the Medical Device Industry in Minnesota Oral History Project'