John Madison Taylor

John Madison Taylor (1855-1931)

John Madison Taylor (1855-1931) was an American pediatric neurologist.

In 1888, John Madison Taylor (1855-1931), working for Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914) at the Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital, designed the first such “reflex hammer.

Taylor’s hammer had a triangular rubber head and a short, flattened metal handle.


  • Born 1855
  • 1878 – Medical degree, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1882-1896 Assistant to Silas Weir Mitchell, Infirmary for Nervous Disease in Philadelphia
  • Professor of pediatrics at the Philadelphia Polyclinic and College for Graduates in Medicine, the Medico-Chirurgical College, and Temple University Medical School.
  • Died 1931

Medical Eponyms

  • The Tendon Hammer (1888)

Major Publications


  • Hinsdale G. Dr. John Madison Taylor. Trans Am Climatol Clin Assoc. 1932; 48: xli. [PMC2194437]
  • Lanska DJ. [History of the reflex hammer] Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1998;10;118(30):4666-8 PMID 9914749
  • Lanska DJ, Lanska MJ. John Madison Taylor (1855-1931) and the first reflex hammer. J Child Neurol. 1990 Jan;5(1):38-9. [PMID 2405048]
  • Louis ED. Weir Mitchell’s 1859 demonstration of “a peculiar contraction” produced by a percussion hammer. Neurology 2008;70:969-973

eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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