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This article discusses reverse engineering as a common approach to understanding design components with strong historical antecedents. The following are also highlighted: the original Kolff drum design; Brigham-Kolff drum; and Baxter-Travenol twin coil. It is concluded that historic reverse-engineering projects have proven a viable engineering education venue. Such projects can be adapted to virtually any biomedical device or other historic engineering artifacts to provide a unique learning experience for students.