Emerson Respirator “Iron Lung” serial number TC1, circa 1940s

Dublin Core

Title

Emerson Respirator “Iron Lung” serial number TC1, circa 1940s

Subject

Respiration
Equipment and Supplies
Lung

Description

The original “iron lung” respirator was designed by Phillip Drinker with Louis Agassiz Shaw at the Harvard School of Public Health. Its first clinical use occurred on October 12, 1928 at the Boston Children’s Hospital. The subject was an eight-year-old polio victim. In spite of her near-death condition, she recovered within less than a minute of being placed in the chamber. She remained in the respirator for 5 days before dying of cardiac failure. In September 1929 Barrett Hoyt, a Harvard senior dying of polio in the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, was placed in the Drinker respirator and immediately began breathing normally. After four weeks in the lung, Hoyt made a complete recovery. Drinker assigned his respirator patent to Boston manufacturer Warren E. Collins, who began production of the device. In 1931, John Haven Emerson created an improved, less expensive iron lung. By 1935 he had successfully challenged Drinker’s patent and his version was in widescale production from the 1930s through the 1970s. The serial number on this Emerson model, TC1, indicates that it was the first one produced of this particular design.

Date

Circa 1940s

Rights

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. For use information, contact the Warren Anatomical Museum Curator at chm@hms.harvard.edu

Access Rights

Accessing collections in the Warren Anatomical Museum and the Warren Anatomical Museum archive requires advanced notice. Please submit a request to Public Services at chm@hms.harvard.edu to access the displayed item

Is Part Of

Warren Anatomical Museum

Format

object

Extent

1 Object

Medium

Medical Instruments, Equipment, and Devices

Type

physical object

Identifier

Warren Anatomical Museum Catalog Number: 22031

Files

22031.jpg

Citation

“Emerson Respirator “Iron Lung” serial number TC1, circa 1940s,” OnView: Digital Collections & Exhibits, accessed June 28, 2022, https://collections.countway.harvard.edu/onview/items/show/26593.

Item Relations

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Transcribe This Item

  1. 22031.jpg