Leadership

Growth of the Self-Contained Mask

Issue 8 and Volume 119.

Growth of the Self-Contained Mask From closed-circuit rebreathers to the compressed air tank Although few details are available, historians tell us that miners first used respiratory devices in Europe during the period from 23 to 70 A.D. Then, in 1795, Dr. Alexander Von Humboldt developed one of the first self-contained breathing masks. This early but unsuccessful attempt to provide complete respiratory protection consisted of an air storage bag, a bellows for filling it, and a partial facepiece. Dr. Theodore Schwann introduced a new concept in the middle 1800’s when he designed a closed-circuit rebreathing-type apparatus which used compressed oxygen and a CO2 scrubbing chemical. This was followed in 1850 by a self-generating device which used an oxygen-producing material. However, a really practical device was not produced until the late 1930’s. Compressed air for masks The present concept of compressed air breathing apparatus originated in the United States in the 1930’s,…

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