On this day in 1976, The Canberra Times reported a revolutionary microscope purchased for the Canberra Hospital to help neurosurgeons performing delicate surgeries.
The microscope was reported to have cost more than $30,000 and was unique because surgeons operated it using their teeth.
"Older microscopes require the surgeon to use his hands to position the device, loosening and tightening knobs each time he shifts it,"
"But with the sophisticated new microscope the surgeon initially positions the microscope head with his hands and thereafter bites a special switch which causes electromagnetic brakes to release, permitting him to change the angle of the microscope without removing his hands from the site of the operation," The Canberra Times reported.
The surgeon would release pressure on the switch, causing the microscope to lock in place before continuing the operation.
A neurosurgeon interviewed after using the microscope for the first time said it was, "much less tiring to use than the older microscopes" and would be of "great assistance" in the future.
Canberra Hospital was the first in Australia to purchase such a microscope for its neurosurgery unit, leading the way for hospitals around the country.