Overview

John Hutchinson

John Hutchinson

The invention of the modern spirometer is credited to John Hutchinson of England. In 1846, Hutchinson published an article on his study conducted on 2,130 individuals to measure vital capacity. He is credited with coining the term spirometer.

Image from Hardluck Asthma

1920s Pulmonary Screenings at School

1920s Pulmonary Screenings at School

In France, public health officials at the beginning of the century instigated preschool and school medical examinations. The school was often the place where working class children would have their first medical evaluation. Public health stations also evaluated the children. Childhood diseases quickly spread through grade schools as infected children came in contact with other children. Ascertaining who had been vaccinated and who had the common childhood diseases became important school public health policies. An important part of the physical exam in the 1920s and 30s was measurement of lung capacity as shown here.

Image from a collection shared by Aracely Bigelow

1924 Spirogram

1924 Spirogram

This 1924 drawing compares Hutchinson's spirogram values and terms with those of Panum and Bohr.

Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro

PFT of swimmer

PFT of swimmer

The pulmonary function of a swimmer was evaluated poolside in this 1930s photo.

Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro

Scott’s VC Apparatus

Scott’s VC Apparatus

In June of 1927, Roy Wesley Scott applied for a patent for "Apparatus for Measuring the Vital Capacity of the Lungs." The patent was granted on November 18, 1930.

Scott later collaborated with the McKesson Company to produce the McKesson-Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus .

McKesson Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus

McKesson Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus

Image from Jeff Anderson

Vital Capacity Apparatus

Vital Capacity Apparatus

The McKesson-Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus

Image from Jeff Anderson

Vital Capacity Apparatus

Vital Capacity Apparatus

Image from Jeff Anderson

1945 BCT described

1945 BCT described

Bronchial Challenge Testing was first described in 1945. Donald Tiffeneau described methacholine challenge testing as well as several other important new pulmonary function diagnostic tests in the 1940s.

1950s Bedside Monitoring

1950s Bedside Monitoring

The Collins Respirometer was used during the 1930s to 1960s. It is shown here at the bedside to monitor pulmonary parameters.

Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro

1959 Collins

1959 Collins

Charles McKnight, the Director of the Inhalation Therapy Department at Lutheran Hospital, Moline is pictured in this 1959 photo with the hospital's pulmonary function equipment.

Charles McKnight

Respirometer Componets

Respirometer Componets

The components of the Collins Respirometer are labeled in this image from the 1960s.

Collins 9L Respirometer

Collins 9L Respirometer

Image from William LeTourneau

Collins 9 L ID Plate

Collins 9 L ID Plate

The identification plate on the Warren Collins 9 Liter Respirometer is shown.

Image from William LeTourneau

Collins Tissot Gasometer

Collins Tissot Gasometer

Image from William LeTourneau

Collins Tissot Gasometer

Collins Tissot Gasometer

The Tissot spirometer was first described circa 1904. A Collins Tissot Gasometer is shown in use during exercise testing circa 1965.

1961 Recording Spirometer

1961 Recording Spirometer

In February 1958, R.E. Shipley applied for a patent for a recording bellows spirometer. The patent was granted September 12, 1961. The device was one of the first units capable of monitoring and recording a timed vital capacity maneuver.

McKesson Vitalor

McKesson Vitalor

The McKesson Vitalor is featured in this ad from the October 1965 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.

Vitalor Manual

Vitalor Manual

The Operating Manual for the McKesson Vitalor VC 25 is shown.

Image from Jeff Anderson

Vitalor front

Vitalor front

The front view of a McKesson Vitalor is shown

Image from Jeff Anderson

Using the Vitalor

Using the Vitalor

In this photo that appeared in the April 1963 issue of INHALATION THERAPY, Bill Morrison is shown performing a vital capacity maneuver on a patient using the Vitalor.

McKesson Vitalor & Collins Respirometer

McKesson Vitalor & Collins Respirometer

The McKesson Vitalor Spirometer and Collins Respirometer are shown.

Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro

Calibration Syringe

Calibration Syringe

Large syringes with precise volumes are used to calibrate spirometers.

1960s Spirometry

1960s Spirometry

Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro

Noseclips and Valves

Noseclips and Valves

Essential equipment for PF testing with the Collins.

Image from Jeff Anderson

1965 Collins

1965 Collins

Collins Pulmonary Function equipment circa 1965

Image from Jim Ciolek

Kymograph Controls

Kymograph Controls

The control box for the Collins kymograph is pictured.

Image from Jim Ciolek

PF Prediction Table

PF Prediction Table

A prediction table for FVC, FEF, and FEV1/FVC for females is shown.

1970s Pulmonary Lab

1970s Pulmonary Lab

Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro

PF Lab

PF Lab

A cardiopulmonary diagnostics lab from the 1970s is shown.

Image from Marvin Lough

1970 SRL PFT Lab

1970 SRL PFT Lab

This ad for the SRL pulmonary function equipment appeared in the December 1970 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.

1970 Plethysmograph

1970 Plethysmograph

Erich Jaeger filed a patent application on December 10, 1965 for a "Plethymograph". The patent was awarded on May 12, 1970.

Plethysmograph Chamber

Plethysmograph Chamber

Image from Marby McKinney

1956 Wright Peak Flow Meter

1956 Wright Peak Flow Meter

Image from Illinois Central College Archives, 1999

Wright Peak Flowmeter

Wright Peak Flowmeter

Image from Glenn Tammen

Airmed Wright Peak Flow Meter

Airmed Wright Peak Flow Meter

A Wright Peak Flow Meter and carrying case by Airmed is shown.

Image from Gregory Rittenhouse

Sling Psychrometer

Sling Psychrometer

The psychrometer was used to measure ambient relative humidity in the pulmonary function testing lab. A wet bulb and a dry bulb thermometers were manually spun for a designated period. The temperature variation between the two thermometers was matched to a calibrated scale to determine the relative humidity.

Image from Kerry George

Sling Psychrometer

Sling Psychrometer

The psychrometer, removed from the case, shows the thermometers and handle of the device. One thermometer remains dry while the sock on the second is dampened. Holding the device by the handle, the thermometers are spun repeatedly in the air. A change between the dry bulb thermometer and the wet bulb thermometers occurs. The variation in temperatures is noted on a calibration scale that correlates to relative humidity.

Image from Kerry George

1970s Spirometry

1970s Spirometry

Technical knowledge and cheerleading skills were required to successfully coach a patient through a pulmonary function test.

Collins Maxi-Modular System

Collins Maxi-Modular System

This image of the Collins Maxi-Modular system was from the late 1970s.

Image from James Sullivan

Early 1980s PFT Equipment

Early 1980s PFT Equipment

In this photo from the early 1980s, Colleen Schabacker is shown adjusting Jaeger PFT equipment in a pulmonary function lab.

Image from Colleen Schabacker

NCG MV Indicator

NCG MV Indicator

This ad appeared in the December 1968 issue of Inhalation Therapy.

Monaghan M401

Monaghan M401

Monaghan M401 Peak Flow Meter

Image from James Sullivan

1974 Donti ad

1974 Donti ad

The Donti Pulmonary Performance Analyzer by Cavitron is shown in this 1974 ad. The device was used to assess FVC and MVV maneuvers.

Pediatric PFT

Pediatric PFT

Using a water seal spirometer to perform spirometry on a pediatric outpatient. Notice the unique "noseclip".

Image from Marvin Lough

Pediatric Testing

Pediatric Testing

Performing pulmonary diagnostics on an infant.

Image from Marvin Lough

Pediatric Testing

Pediatric Testing

Testing pulmonary mechanics on a pediatric patient at Rainbow Babies and Children's Medical Center.

Image from Marvin Lough

Mini-Wright Peak Flow Meter

Mini-Wright Peak Flow Meter

Image from Angela Eaton

1980s Breon 2400

1980s Breon 2400

The Breon 2400 was often used for pulmonary screenings in medical offices, clinics, and public health screening programs.

Image from Tony Ruppert

1980s Breon 2400 Spirometer

1980s Breon 2400 Spirometer

Circa 1980 -Top view of the Breon 2400.

Image from Tony Ruppert

1980s Computerized Graphics

1980s Computerized Graphics

Image from James Sullivan

Flow-Volume Loop

Flow-Volume Loop

Images to share?

Images to share?