Respirator [Iron Lung]

Circa 1935
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Production Date
Circa 1935
Iron Lung made of cast iron, painted white with two circular 'port hole' windows, hinged, on either side, and one additional window at top. Hole at end for head is lined with brown leather. Iron lung stands on four wheels with a frame attaching wheels to body. Frame support at head of machine, presumably to hold up patient's head. Machine tapers towards end and has one smaller port hole window at end. Inside is brown leather padding.
Processed Material/Metal
Signature/Marks and Type
Artificial Lung (Iron Lung)/ These machines are used to keep alive patients who/ have suffered respiratory paralysis. In the mid 1930's/ an epidemic of Poliomylitis occured in New Zealand. / As a result, the iron lunch displayed here was built. / it was possibly the first in New Zealand, and is / probably the oldest surviving one. It was designed/ by Mr. Fred Jacobs, the chief engineer for the/ Auckland hospital board, and was built in the/ Auckland hospital workshops around 1935. Label
Accession No
Credit Line
Circa 1935. Respirator [Iron Lung], 1964.163. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

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Hi, The iron lung was designed by my grandfather Frederick Jacobs who was the Chief Engineer at Auckland Hospital. It was built by his son, my father Cecil (Bill) Jacobs in workshop.

- Peter Jacobs

Posted on 01-05-2020 04:36:53