For thousands of year people have used heat in the form of hot irons to treat wounds. Since the end of the 19th century heat could be produced through electric currents. In 1920 Dr William T. Bovie, an eccentric inventor with a doctorate in plant physiology, developed an innovative HF-unit within the scope of his work at Harvard University in Massachusetts that Harvey Cushing, the father of modern neurosurgery, introduced into clinical practice.
Dr. William T. Bovie
he first use of an electrosurgical generator in an operating room occurred on October 1, 1926, at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. A few days earlier (September 28, 1926) Dr. Cushing had been unsuccessful in removing a mass from a patient's head due to its highly vascular nature. In Dr. Cushing's note from October 1st, " ...with Dr. Bovie's help I proceeded to take off most satisfactorily the remaining portion of tumor with practically none of the bleeding which was occasioned in the preceding operation."