Inventor Of Obstetrical Forceps
On this date in 1569, Huguenot physician William Chamberlen, the inventor of obstetrical forceps, was forced to emigrate to England from France. The Chamberlen family kept the forceps a well-guarded secret until well into the 17th century, when William Chamberlen’s son Peter, also a physician, first used them around 1650 to help a woman through obstructed labor. The ornately carved and gilded box in which the forceps were first kept was so heavy that it took two men to carry the box into the pregnant woman’s home.
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