Overview

Humidifiers

In the early years of our profession, keeping the reservoirs of humidifiers filled was a major undertaking. Large bottles of distilled water were transported on carts for the technicians and therapists to refill room humidifiers and oxygen humidifiers. (One can only image the bacterial cross-contamination that resulted from this practice!) A variety of room humidifiers and bubble humidifiers are featured in this gallery.

Pre-1940

1930s Steam Inhaler

1930s Steam Inhaler

The French Blue and White enamel steam inhaler from the 1930s is from the collection of Felix Khusid.

Image from Felix Khusid

1932 Gas Humidifying Device

1932 Gas Humidifying Device

In November 1932, F. A. Blashfield filed a patent application for a "Gas Humidifying Device. The patent was granted on September 25, 1934.

1938 Renwal Steam Vaporizer

1938 Renwal Steam Vaporizer

1940s

1940s Metal Humidifiers

1940s Metal Humidifiers

In the 1940s, refillable humidifiers were constructed of a threaded metal top and metal reservoir, making it impossible for oxygen technicians to visualize the water levels in the reservoir.

Image from Dennis Glover

1940s Humidicrib

1940s Humidicrib

The Humidicrib provided "scientific control of humidity and temperature to greatly increase the premature infant's chance of survival and normal, healthy growth."

1940s Copper Room Humidifier

1940s Copper Room Humidifier

Image from Dennis Glover

Copper Humidifier

Copper Humidifier

Walton Humidifier

Walton Humidifier

1949 GlycolAire Vaporizer

1949 GlycolAire Vaporizer

1950s

Prac-T-Kal Humidifier

Prac-T-Kal Humidifier

Practical Electric Products, Inc. produced the PRAC-T-KAL automatic vaporizer and humidifiers in the 1940s and 1950s.

Prak-T-Kal Room Humidifier

Prak-T-Kal Room Humidifier

Walton Cold Steam

Walton Cold Steam

The Walton Cold Steam hospital humidifier was described as a "centrifugal atomizer" that provided high humidity in oxygen tents or hospital rooms.
Thereafter, unheated hospital room humidifiers were referred to as "cold steamers".
This ad appeared in the December 1959 issue of the Inhalation Therapy journal.

1955 Gilroy’s Humidifier

1955 Gilroy’s Humidifier

J. Gilroy et al filed a patent application for a "Humidifier" in November 1950. The patent was granted on January 18, 1955.

Glass Reservoirs

Glass Reservoirs

In the 1950s, oxygen humidifiers with refillable glass reservoirs were introduced.

Image from Dennis Glover

1958 Hydrojette Ad

1958 Hydrojette Ad

The Air-Shields Hydrojette was a mobile, cool vapor humidifier used at the hospital bedside. This ad, which appeared in the September 1958 issue of the Inhalation Therapy journal, indicated that the device was recommended as supportive treatment for croup, bronchial asthma, poliomyelitis, bronchitis, and other respiratory disorders.

1950s Room Humidifier

1950s Room Humidifier

Image from Dennis Glover

1960s

Puritan Bubble Jet

Puritan Bubble Jet

This ad from the April 1962 issue of the Inhalation Therapy journal featured the dual action humidifier from Puritan Corporation. The Puritan Bubble Jet could be set for "vaporization or nebulization". It offered either a glass jar or a shatterproof plastic reservoir jar.

1960s Plastic Reservoirs

1960s Plastic Reservoirs

In the 1960s, humidifiers with metal caps and refillable plastic reservoirs were introduced.

Image from Dennis Glover

1962 Combo Device

1962 Combo Device

This unit, patented on May 1,1962 was a "combined room humidifier and medicinal vaporizer or the like."

Walton Humidity Canopy

Walton Humidity Canopy

The ad for the Walton Model HA canopy enclosures were less confining for older children undergoing cold steam humidity therapy.

1962  Banks’ Patent

1962 Banks’ Patent

On July 27, 1962, Raymond Banks applied for a patent for a room humidifier. The patent was granted on November 3, 1964 to the inventor and originally assigned to Walton Labs, Inc.

1963 Ohio VaporMaster

1963 Ohio VaporMaster

This ad for the hospital model Ohio VaporMaster humidifier appeared in the June 1963 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.

Ohio Jet Humidifier

Ohio Jet Humidifier

Bennett Cascade Humidifier

Bennett Cascade Humidifier

The Bennett Cascade Humidifier is featured in this October 1965 ad from the INHALATION THERAPY journal.

Bennett Cascade

Bennett Cascade

The Bennett Cascade humidifier was introduced in the 1960s. The heated humidifier was used with the Bennett respiration units and the Bennett MA-1.

Image from Lindsay Fox

1960s Plastic Cap and Reservoir

1960s Plastic Cap and Reservoir

In the late 1960s, resusable humidifiers with plastic caps and refillable reservoirs were introduced. In many devices, the bubbler unit was still constructed of metal.

Image from Kerry George

Hudson Humidifier

Hudson Humidifier

Image from Kerry George

1965 Myklebust’s Patent

1965 Myklebust’s Patent

On April 16, 1962, Paal Myklebust files a patent application for a room humidifier. The patent was granted on June 8, 1965 and assigned to the Hankscraft Company

Bunn Humidifier

Bunn Humidifier

The Bunn Defensor 505 Humidifier was featured in the October 1967 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.

1970s

Hanskscraft  Humidifier

Hanskscraft Humidifier

In the 1970s, many hospitals switched over to single patient use room humidifiers such as the unit shown.

Disposable Reservoirs Introduced

Disposable Reservoirs Introduced

For convenience and reduction in cross-contamination, pre-filled, disposable humidifier reservoirs were introduced.

1978 Humidilizer

1978 Humidilizer

The Humidilizer, a room humidifier produced by MistO2Gen , was trademarked in 1978.

Image from Tony Ruppert

1980s

Heat Moisture Exchangers Introduced

Heat Moisture Exchangers Introduced

Heat Moisture Exchangers (HME) were introduced into clinical practice in the mid-1980s and provided passive humidification.

Image from Kerry George

Inspiron Vapor Phase Humidifier

Inspiron Vapor Phase Humidifier

Image from Tony Ruppert

Concha Humidifier

Concha Humidifier

Image from Lindsay Fox

Bird Wick Humidifier

Bird Wick Humidifier

Image from Lindsay Fox

Bard-Parker Humidifier Heater

Bard-Parker Humidifier Heater

Image from Kerry George

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