Letter from R. W. Hodgers, Jr to Adrian Kantrowitz
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1961-11-14 (November 14, 1961)
Hodgers, R. W. Jr.
General Electric Company
Courtesy of Adrian Kantrowitz.
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It was a pleasure to meet with you again and review the progress that you have made in your research program. From our discussion,
it is my understanding that you are interested in getting hardware from the General Electric Company for your projects in
the following order of urgency:
1. Phrenic nerve stimulator. (Replace iron lung.)
2. Booster heart.
3. Rechargeable pacemaker.
4. Sphincter muscle control.
5. Internal energy source (biochemical fuel cell).
6. Paraplegic programming.
Of these, you indicated that your work in the first two is, or will be, held up shortly as a result of a lack of engineering
efforts by the Electronics Laboratory. You indicated a desire for six phrenic nerve stimulators suitable for implant in dogs
within the next three months, and three units suitable for human implant within four to six months. In the booster heart you
indicated a need for six units for implanting in dogs within the next year. (This would require approximately twelve development
type units in order to arrive at the design for six prototypes.)
It appeared that a rough budgetary estimate of the cost of the units required for the phrenic stimulator and booster heart
experiments would be approximately $50,000. Jerry Suran indicated to you that he was no longer able to perform the engineering
work and provide the units for free as he had done in the past. This decision was reviewed at vice-presidential level. As
I indicated, the X-Ray Department will be unable to provide funds for this research and development work at the Electronics
Laboratory. We are, however, willing to administer a contract for the Electronics Laboratory and you at no additional general
and administrative cost, and at no profit.
Several possible alternatives appear desirable in order to permit you to obtain funding to be able to move at the accelerated
rate that your experimentation appears to justify. These are:
1. Increased funds for your present NIH grant.
2. A supplementary NIH grant for you to cover hardware for implantation since this this was not included on your previous
3. Separate NIH grants to the General Electric Company to cover development work of this hardware.
4. Support from the Heart of Polio Foundations.
5. Support from philanthropic individuals or companies.
As I indicated, I believe the first approach should be to NIH and that Jerry Suran and I are willing to meet with you in Washington
to explore the possibilities with the NIH people. I will check with Jerry and try to pick a date during the last week of November
that would be mutually acceptable to the three of us.