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Gas Mask History
Transcript of Gas Mask History
Another early design was the "Safety Hood and Smoke Protector" invented by Garrett Morgan in 1912, and patented in 1914. It was a simple device consisting of a cotton hood with two hoses which hung down to the floor, allowing the wearer to breathe the safer air found there. In addition, moist sponges were inserted at the end of the hoses in order to better filter the air. The first use of poison gas on the Western Front was on 22 April 1915, by the Germans at Ypres, against Canadian and French colonial troops. The initial response was to equip troops with cotton mouth pads for protection. Soon afterwards the British added a long cloth which was used to tie chemical-soaked mouth pads into place, and which was called the Black Veil Respirator. Dr. Cluny MacPherson of Royal Newfoundland Regiment brought the idea of a mask made of chemical absorbing fabric and which fitted over the entire head to England, and this was developed into the British Hypo Helmet of June 1915. This primitive type of mask went through several stages of development before being superseded in 1916 by the canister gas mask of 1916. This had a mask connected to a tin can containing the absorbent materials by a hose. The modern gas mask that people in the USA are familiar with today was developed in 1944 by the US Army Chemical Warfare Service. It was made of plastic and rubber-like material that greatly reduced the weight and bulk compared to World War One gasmasks and fitted the user's face more snugly and comfortably. The main improvement was replacing the separate filter canister connected with a hose by a filter canister screwed on the side of the gas mask, that could be replaced easily. Also, it had replaceable plastic lenses, much helping vision. American, Garrett Morgan patented the Morgan safety hood and smoke protector in 1914. Two years later, Garrett Morgan made national news when his gas mask was used to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel beneath Lake Erie. The publicity and heroics of this safety hood sold the safety hood to firehouses across the United States. Some historians cite the Morgan design as the basis for early U.S. army gas masks used during WW1, others do not. The British built a carbon monoxide respirator for use during WW1 in February 1915, before the first use of chemical gas weapons. It was discovered that unexploded enemy shells gave off high enough levels of carbon monoxide to kill soldiers in the trenches, foxholes, and other contained environments. Similar, to the dangers of the exhaust from a car with its engine turned on in an enclosed garage. Cluny Macpherson designed a 'smoke helmet' with a single exhaling tube, combined with with chemical sorbents to defeat the airborne chlorine used in the gas attacks. Macpherson's designs were used and modified by allied forces and are considered the first to be used to protect against chemical weapons. In 1916, the Germans added larger air filter drums to their respirators containing gas neutralize chemicals. The allies soon added filter drums to their respirators as well. One of the most notable gas masks used during WW1 was the British Small Box Respirator or SBR designed in 1916. The SBR was probably the most reliable and heavily used gas masks used during WW1. Biblography "The History of GasÂ Masks." About.com Inventors. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. <http://inventors.about.com/od/gstartinventions/a/gasmask.htm>. "Google." Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2012. <http://www.google.com/search?num=10>. Gas Mask By