Artificial Kidney


Willem J. Kolff (1911-2009) was a Dutch physician who in 1943, despite working under the cloud of Nazi occupation, was able to devise the first workable artificial kidney. In 1947, Dr. Kolff brought two rotating drum kidney machines to America: one was installed in New York City, and the other in Montreal. John Merrill and Carl Walters, physicians working at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, designed a modification of that machine known as the Kolff-Brigham artificial kidney. This instrument is of that sort.

Ref: “Willem Kolff, Doctor Who Invented Kidney and Heart Machines, Dies at 97,” New York Times (Feb. 13, 2009), p. A23.

“Dr. John Merrill, Transplant Pioneer, Dies in Boating Accident,” New York Times (April 10, 1984), p. B10.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, Boston

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2003.0018.02Catalog Number: 2003.0018.02Accession Number: 2003.0018

Object Name: Dialysis Machine


Record Id: nmah_1281546

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