Fun Fact #8: He helped invent an early artificial heart.

Lindbergh was known for his hands-on approach to repairing and prepping his aircraft, and he later turned his mechanical wizardry toward biology. Inspired by his sister-in-law Elisabeth’s battle with heart disease, he teamed with Nobel Prize-winning French surgeon Alexis Carrel and spent much of the early 1930s working on a method for keeping organs alive outside the body. By 1935, Lindbergh had developed a perfusion pump made of Pyrex glass that was capable of moving air and life-giving fluids through excised organs to keep them working and infection-free. The pump was hailed as a medical breakthrough, and helped pave the way for the development of the first true artificial organs. Lindbergh and Carrel later collaborated on a 1938 book on the subject called “The Culture of Organs.”

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