Early in the 20th century blood pressure was measured by a variety of devices. Most were rather clumsy combinations of various components brought together to perform a single function. Many components were subject to sudden failure or gradual deterioration affecting accuracy. The user was very often unaWilliam A. Baumware of the inaccuracies present, much less able to determine the causes. (The same situation exists today.) Even so, blood pressure was recognized as an important diagnostic vital sign. In 1916, during his daily work at a large clinic dedicated to pre-employment and pre-insurance physical examinations and medical testing, our founder, William A. Baum, saw the importance of accurate blood pressure measurement. He also saw, very clearly, the imperfections of the equipment being used. Rather than take on the role of a carping critic, he determined then and there, to do something about the situation. The result of this determination was the first Baumanometer® blood pressure instrument. It functioned on the immutable law of gravity; it was simple and convenient to use; most important, the user could verify its accuracy by simple observation. In 1964, on the occasion of his receiving a 50 Year Alumni Medal and Citation from Pratt Institute, Mr. Baum said: "I knew the medical profession needed the instrument I proposed to make and I felt confident I would only have to price it reasonably and demonstrate its superiority to physicians to sell a sufficient number." The Baumanometer® sphygmomanometer rapidly became the preferred blood pressure instrument throughout the USA, Canada and worldwide. The founder attributed the success of the business to "...the loyal, unselfish and outstandingly capable assistance of many men and women who have been (and still are) pillars of strength in our enterprise." Today our products include the Baum line of Aneroid instruments individually calibrated to master Baumanometer® mercury-gravity manometers traceable to National Institute of Standards and Testing stethoscopes and a full complement of world class blood pressure inflation system components.
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