Wilson Greatbatch, Clarence resident and member of the Inventor's Hall of Fame, is known world wide as the inventor of the implantable cardiac pacemaker. The Clarence History Museum is proud to showcase Greatbatch's original red barn, carefully reassembled to look as it did in the early 1960's. This workshop is where a young Greatbatch constructed and perfected the first cardiac pacemaker. The exhibit includes his original work bench, a small pot bellied stove that kept the workshop warm, as well as the doctor's bag Mr. Greatbatch would take with him into the operating room. The museum also houses critical Greatbatch instruments such as "the calorimeter" and his early modern pacemakers.
As a result of Mr. Greatbatch's breakthrough invention, he has been honored with many awards. The Clarence History Museum showcases many of these awards, including the National Medal of Technology that he was awarded in 1990 by then President George H. W. Bush. Although Greatbatch considered himself a "tinkerer" his many inventions resulted in over 350 patents and an induction into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 1986.
Wilson Greatbatch died on September 27, 2011 at the age of 92. His implantable cardiac pacemaker has saved millions of lives and been deemed one of the greatest medical inventions of the 20th century. Mr. Greatbatch's legacy lives on in the Clarence History Museum where visitors from around the world have come to see the humble beginnings of this extraodinary, yet simple Clarence resident's contribution to society.