Our History

History of Medtronic Collage

Today, we are the world's largest medical technology company, but we come from humble beginnings. Medtronic was founded in 1949 as a medical equipment repair shop by Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie.

Did these two men set out to change medical technology and the lives of millions of people? No. But they did have a deep moral purpose and an inner drive to use their scientific knowledge and entrepreneurial skills to help others.

That spirit – combined with our founders' personal integrity and passion – became our guiding philosophy and, ultimately, the Medtronic Mission.

Our first life-changing therapy – a wearable, battery-powered cardiac pacemaker – was the foundation for many more Medtronic therapies that use our electrical stimulation expertise to improve the lives of millions of people.

Over the years, we developed additional core technologies, including implantable mechanical devices, drug and biologic delivery devices, and powered and advanced energy surgical instruments. Today, our technologies are used to treat nearly 40 medical conditions.


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Last updated: 17 Feb 2014

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Explore Our Rich History


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Our History Brochure

History Pdf 

Read about our early years, the motivation behind our Mission, and much more in a brochure chronicling Medtronic's rich history.

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