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  • Semarang, Dutch East Indies (Present-Day Indonesia)
    Monday May 21, 1860

    Birth

    Semarang, Dutch East Indies (Present-Day Indonesia)
    Monday May 21, 1860

    Willem Einthoven was born in Semarang on Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), the son of Louise Marie Mathilde Caroline (de Vogel) and Jacob Einthoven.




  • Utrecht, Netherlands
    1870

    Returned to the Netherlands

    Utrecht, Netherlands
    1870

    His father, a doctor, died when Willem was a child. His mother returned to the Netherlands with her children in 1870 and settled in Utrecht. His father was of Jewish and Dutch descent, and his mother's ancestry was Dutch and Swiss.




  • Utrecht, Netherlands
    1885

    Einthoven received a medical degree

    Utrecht, Netherlands
    1885

    In 1885, Einthoven received a medical degree from the University of Utrecht.




  • Leiden, Netherlands
    1886

    Einthoven became a professor

    Leiden, Netherlands
    1886

    Einthoven became a professor at the University of Leiden in 1886.




  • Netherlands
    1901

    Einthoven completed a series of prototypes of a string galvanometer

    Netherlands
    1901

    Before Einthoven's time, it was known that the beating of the heart produced electrical currents, but the instruments of the time could not accurately measure this phenomenon without placing electrodes directly on the heart. Beginning in 1901, Einthoven completed a series of prototypes of a string galvanometer. This device used a very thin filament of conductive wire passing between very strong electromagnets. When a current passed through the filament, the magnetic field created by the current would cause the string to move. A light shining on the string would cast a shadow on a moving roll of photographic paper, thus forming a continuous curve showing the movement of the string. The original machine required water cooling for the powerful electromagnets, required five people to operate it and weighed some 270 kilograms. This device increased the sensitivity of the standard galvanometer so that the electrical activity of the heart could be measured despite the insulation of flesh and bones.




  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    1902

    Willem became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    1902

    In 1902, Willem became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.




  • Stockholm, Sweden
    1924

    Einthoven was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

    Stockholm, Sweden
    1924

    In 1924, Einthoven was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for inventing the first practical system of electrocardiography used in medical diagnosis.


  • Leiden, Netherlands
    Thursday Sep 29, 1927

    Death

    Leiden, Netherlands
    Thursday Sep 29, 1927

    Einthoven died in Leiden in the Netherlands and is buried in the graveyard of the Reformed Church at 6 Haarlemmerstraatweg in Oegstgeest. It is encouraged to visit his grave and pay respects.


  • California, U.S.
    Tuesday May 21, 2019

    Einthoven's 159th birthday

    California, U.S.
    Tuesday May 21, 2019

    On 21 May 2019, on Einthoven's 159th birthday, he was honored with a Google Doodle.


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