top of page

How branding can affect the future of health...

An interesting story- the Vaquez-Laubry

In 1886, Riva-Rocci invented the first blood pressure monitor. In 1905, Korotkof discovered the auscultatoric technique. Von Recklinghausen probably made the most significant next step when he demonstrated in a series of elegant experiments that the cuff used by Riva-Rocci was too narrow. But who invented the aneroid BPM as we know it today?

The first version of the modern aneroid BPM was manufactured by Galante in Paris in 1911, under the instructions of Prof. Laubry, who had recently joined the hospital of la Pitié in Paris under the direction of the famous Prof. Henri Vaquez. In fact, Henri Vaquez was so famous that students would virtually fight to become his assistant.

A unique sample of the first aneroid blood pressure monitors, the Laubry Sphygmo-Tensiophone

On one occasion, Vaquez instructed 5 finalists to choose amongst themselves who would become his assistant. The five candidates played the position in a historic game of poker that was won by Charles Laubry who thus became Henri Vaquez' assistant and later his colleague.

In the meantime, Charles Laubry had put together his device for measuring blood pressure, which he called the Sphygmo-Tensiophone and had asked Galante (who was already himself the holder of a number of patents in the emerging filed of blood pressure) to make him some samples. However, the device did not have any great commercial success perhaps because Charles Laubry was at the time virtually unknown.

The same device, having been rebranded by Vaquez, became the famous Vaquez-Laubry Tensiophone

In 1917, Charles Laubry associated himself with Dr Vaquez to rebrand the device as the Vaquez-Laubry Tensiophone and in 1918, they associated themselves with Emile Spengler to manufacture it commercially. Since then, the Vaquez-Laubry has become a standard of the medical industry in French-speaking countries and it is still sold today under this name by Spengler in France.

Just goes to show what a bit of clever branding can do...

Story recounted by Charles Pauly-Laubry, cardiologist, grandson of Charles Laubry, living in Paris.

Discover the HealthWorks Collection of historic blood pressure devices on


  • LinkedIn Social Icône
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page