3M Littmann Stethoscopes 50th Anniversary - Celebrating 50 Years of Listening


This month marks the 50th year anniversary for 3M Littmann stethoscopes. As you have probably heard 3M Littmann stethoscopes are unsurpassed in their quality and design.

3M are globally recognised as being the world's best stethoscope manufacturer. Their stethoscopes are used and celebrated all around the world. You might also recognise the 3M brand on other products in the healthcare sphere and beyond.

To celebrate the 50th year anniversary for 3M Littmann we want to take you on the inspiring journey that lead 3M to become world leaders in stethoscope and auscultation technology.


Rocky Beginnings

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The company now known as 3M started out in Minnesota in the year of 1902 with a group of five businessmen and a failed mining venture.

Their goal was to mine corundum but they discovered that the mine they purchased only contained anorthosite, a mineral that had no commercial value at the time.

In 1905 the company moved to Duluth and started researching and producing sandpaper products. Unable to even produce sandpaper with the anorthosite, the founding partners imported Spanish garnet, which proved a successful material for producing sand paper.

In 1914 customers complained about the garnet falling off the sandpaper, the founders discovered that this was due to the garnet stones being contaminated with olive oil during transit across the Atlantic ocean.

At the time, the company was unable to withstand the loss so they innovated and roasted the stones over a fire to remove the traces of olive oil. Thus commencing a long living legacy of innovation and enterprise.


Legacy of Innovation

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3M is well known for pioneering such products as Scotch cellophane sticky tape, masking tape, waterproof sandpaper, magnetic tape recorders, post it notes and even some board games.

As the company grew, so did the realms into which they expanded, exploring where their technologies and innovations could take them.

In 1948 3M created their first medical adhesive tapes for the medical and healthcare market. They have continued to create new and improved adhesives including the famous Steri-strips, Tegaderm and Micropore tape.

In 2009 3M had manufactured enough Micropore tape to reach to and from the moon 58 times!


3M Acquires Littmann

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As you can read in our blog post about the history of the stethoscope, the first stethoscope is credited to French physician Rene Laennec, who in 1816 used a long rolled paper tube to funnel the sound from the patient's chest to his ear.

It was 25 years later the first stethoscope with an earpiece for each ear was developed and the technology remained relatively unchanged for around 100 years following this upgrade.

In the early 1960s that a Harvard Medical School professor, Dr. David Littmann patented a revolutionary new stethoscope with far superior acoustical properties and performance than its predecessor from the 1800s.

Dr. Littmann was a distinguished cardiologist and international authority on electrocardiography, 3M recognised the virtue in Littmann's design.

A few years later 3M acquired Dr. Littmann's stethoscope business and they continued to refine and improve on his design. His name lives on through the legacy of the Littmann brand.


And Beyond...

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3M continues their quest for improvement and advancement of stethoscope and auscultation technology to this day. With new enhancements and improved technology constantly in development.

This year marked the release of the 3M Littmann Cardiology IV, the most advanced tunable stethoscope available in the world.

Medshop Australia is proud to stock the widest range of Littmann stethoscopes available within Australia. We also offer free laser engraving that is 3M Littmann approved and will not void the warranty, unlike unregistered engraving processes.

Please follow Medshop Australia on our social media accounts for an exciting opportunity to win a Littmann stethoscope in our upcoming Littmann stethoscope give away.

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