Take a breath and a guess
26 Jun 2024

You’re looking at an early (1916) design for an iron lung. The patent for this one belonged to Charles E. H. Armbruster from Denver, Colorado. While the concept of external negative pressure ventilation has been around since 1670 – iron lungs only entered widespread use in 1928. This design predates that ‘popular’ design by Phillip Drinker and Louis Shaw (which looked more like a tank in which patients were placed). Iron lungs help people breathe when muscle control is lost and was often used for sufferers of Polio. After Polio was eradicated, iron lungs became largely obsolete.

Respirator pump and chest portion for an iron lung invented by C. E. H. Armbruster.

 Now quaint and vintage, at one stage, this object represented the very cutting edge of science.