Balfour Operating Table

Description

When Tri-State Sanitarium, the precursor to Willis Knighton Medical Center, opened in 1924 the administration touted the use of Balfour operating tables.  The Balfour table was an advance over the old four-legged flat tables used in operating rooms for decades. 

Invented by Dr. Donald Balfour of the Mayo Clinic, the table was designed to be raised or lowered by the surgeon and moved into various positions.  It has a rail on each side to permit attachments creating what we now think of as “an operating table:”

The cost of the table in 1924 was $450.  Today’s operating room tables cost as much as ten times that.

Location in Museum

In the Operating Room exhibit

Age

Mid-20th Century
  • Operating, room, table, Tri-State Hospital, Tri-State Sanitarium, Balfour operating table, (2)
  • Tri-State Hospital, operating, room, reconstruction, original window, table, and light (2)
  • IMOperating, room, table, Tri-State Hospital, Tri-State Sanitarium, Balfour operating table
  • Operating, room, table, Tri-State Hospital, Tri-State Sanitarium, Balfour operating table,
  • Tri-State Hospital, operating, room, reconstruction, original window, table, and light (4)