Collection Item Summary:
During the Cold War aerospace and defense electronics firms occasionally attempted to apply their expertise to commercial products. In the early 1970s, General Electric applied its expertise in a special area of electronic miniaturization called "thick film hybrid integrated circuits" (originally developed for use in missiles and satellites) to help improve the first generation of cardiac pacemakers.
This collection of artifacts represents the development and manufacturing process of building a pacemaker. The micro-electronics (thick film hybrid integrated circuits) were placed inside the metal casings, which were then hermetically sealed. These circuits were the key technology of the pacemaker, sensing heart rhythms and sending out signals to stimulate the heart when needed during abnormal activity.
Lockheed Martin donated these artifacts to the Museum in 1998.