Dodrill GMR Heart

“The Mechanical Heart” also known as the Michigan Heart had the ability to bypass the right and left side of the patient’s heart allowing surgeons a “dry” field on which to work. The Dodrill-GMR heart project was a collaborative effort led by Dr. Forest Dewey Dodrill of Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and General Motors Research Laboratory.
The Dodrill-GMR Heart was used in the first successful open heart operation July 3, 1952. The patient, a forty-one year old male, had a deformed mitral valve which was successfully repaired
Currently not on view
Object Name
heart, mechanical
Heart, Mechanical
artificial heart
date made
ca 1952
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
chromium (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
glass (overall material)
overall: 25 in x 18 in x 15 in; 63.5 cm x 45.72 cm x 38.1 cm
overall, tubing: 1 5/8 in x 14 in x 8 in; 4.1275 cm x 35.56 cm x 20.32 cm
overall, artificial heart: 22 1/2 in x 20 in x 14 in; 57.15 cm x 50.8 cm x 35.56 cm
overall: 23 in x 19 1/2 in x 13 in; 58.42 cm x 49.53 cm x 33.02 cm
place made
United States: Michigan, Detroit
United States: Michigan, Detroit
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Artificial Organs
Artificial Hearts
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Hearts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
General Motors Corporation, Research Laboratories Division
Related Publication
Dodrill, Forest D., M.D.. Some Physiologic Aspects of the Artificial Heart Problem

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