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Biographical entry Both, Edward Thomas (1908 - 1987)


26 April 1908
Caltowie, South Australia, Australia
18 November 1987
Mount Beauty, Victoria, Australia


Ted Both was born in South Australia, 1908. He attended the University of Adelaide and became technical assistant to the professor of physics Sir Kerr Grant. Both built an electrocardiograph in 1932 and was involved in a small medical equipment development and production facility. He gained renown by designing a superior model of the 'iron lung' and was approached by Lord Nuffield while in London and commissioned to build 1700 machines for donation to hospitals through the British Empire. He was appointed Order of the British Empire in 1941 and gained the nickname "Australia's Edison". Along with his brother, Both established Both Electrics Ltd. During World War II Both worked on many projects supported by the Army Inventions Directorate including medical equipment, the electromicrometer, and contributed with research in guided torpedoes and the 'visitel'- the predecessor of the facsimile machine. The Both's moved to Sydney and set up Both Equipment Ltd in 1952 where they designed electric scoreboards for the Davis Cup and the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956.

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Journal Articles

  • Trubuhovich, Ronald V., 'Notable Australian contributions to the management of ventilatory failure of acute poliomyelitis: with special reference to the Both respirator and Dr John A Forbes', Critical care and resuscitation, 8 (4) (2006), 383-93. Details


Tom Hyde