Equipment for pulmonary function testing and pulmonary screening from the 1920s-1980s is featured.

John HutchinsonJohn 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 School1920s 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 Spirogram1924 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 swimmerPFT 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 ApparatusScott'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 ApparatusMcKesson Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus
McKesson Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus
Image from Jeff Anderson
Vital Capacity ApparatusVital Capacity Apparatus
Vital Capacity Apparatus
The McKesson-Scott Vital Capacity Apparatus
Image from Jeff Anderson
Vital Capacity ApparatusVital Capacity Apparatus
Vital Capacity Apparatus
Image from Jeff Anderson
1945 BCT described1945 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 Monitoring1950s 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 Collins1959 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.
Image from Charles McKnight
Respirometer ComponentsRespirometer Components
Respirometer Components
The components of the Collins Respirometer are labeled in this image from the 1960s.
Collins 9L RespirometerCollins 9L Respirometer
Collins 9L Respirometer
Image from William LeTourneau
Collins 9 L ID PlateCollins 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 GasometerCollins Tissot Gasometer
Collins Tissot Gasometer
Image from William LeTourneau
Collins Tissot GasometerCollins 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.
Collins Tissot GasometerCollins Tissot Gasometer
Collins Tissot Gasometer
Dr. Albert Aranson is shown with the Collins Tissot Gasometer.
Image from Robert Aranson, MD
1961 Recording Spirometer1961 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 VitalorMcKesson Vitalor
McKesson Vitalor
The McKesson Vitalor is featured in this ad from the October 1965 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.
Vitalor ManualVitalor Manual
Vitalor Manual
The Operating Manual for the McKesson Vitalor VC 25 is shown.
Image from Jeff Anderson
Vitalor frontVitalor front
Vitalor front
The front view of a McKesson Vitalor is shown
Image from Jeff Anderson
Using the VitalorUsing 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 RespirometerMcKesson Vitalor & Collins Respirometer
McKesson Vitalor & Collins Respirometer
The McKesson Vitalor Spirometer and Collins Respirometer are shown.
Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro
Calibration SyringeCalibration Syringe
Calibration Syringe
Large syringes with precise volumes are used to calibrate spirometers.
1960s Spirometry1960s Spirometry
1960s Spirometry
Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro
Noseclips and ValvesNoseclips and Valves
Noseclips and Valves
Essential equipment for PF testing with the Collins.
Image from Jeff Anderson
1965 Collins1965 Collins
1965 Collins
Collins Pulmonary Function equipment circa 1965
Image from Jim Ciolek
Kymograph ControlsKymograph Controls
Kymograph Controls
The control box for the Collins kymograph is pictured.
Image from Jim Ciolek
PF Prediction TablePF Prediction Table
PF Prediction Table
A prediction table for FVC, FEF, and FEV1/FVC for females is shown.
PFT gallery_DGPFT gallery_DG
Example of a PFT reading
Pulmonary function tests were manually calculated prior to the mid-1970s.
Image from Deborah Gentile
Spirometry results were calculated manually
Manual calculations of spirometry results are shown
Image from Deborah Gentile
1970s Pulmonary Lab1970s Pulmonary Lab
1970s Pulmonary Lab
Image from Steve and Mary DeGenaro
PF LabPF Lab
PF Lab
A cardiopulmonary diagnostics lab from the 1970s is shown.
Image from Marvin Lough
1970 SRL PFT Lab1970 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 Plethysmograph1970 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
Image from Marby McKinney
1956 Wright Peak Flow Meter1956 Wright Peak Flow Meter
1956 Wright Peak Flow Meter
Image from Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
Wright Peak Flow MeterWright Peak Flow Meter
Wright Peak Flowmeter
Image from Glenn Tammen
Airmed Wright Peak Flow MeterAirmed 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 PsychrometerSling 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 PsychrometerSling 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 Spirometry1970s Spirometry
1970s Spirometry
Technical knowledge and cheerleading skills were required to successfully coach a patient through a pulmonary function test.
Collins Maxi-Modular SystemCollins Maxi-Modular System
Collins Maxi-Modular System
This image of the Collins Maxi-Modular system was from the late 1970s.
Image from James Sullivan
Collins Maxi System
This image of the Collins Maxi-system appeared in the January 1977 issue of RESPIRATORY CARE.
Early 1980s PFT EquipmentEarly 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 IndicatorNCG MV Indicator
NCG MV Indicator
This ad appeared in the December 1968 issue of Inhalation Therapy.
Monaghan M401Monaghan M401
Monaghan M401
Monaghan M401 Peak Flow Meter
Image from James Sullivan
1974 Donti ad1974 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 PFTPediatric PFT
Pediatric PFT
Using a water seal spirometer to perform spirometry on a pediatric outpatient. Notice the unique "noseclip".
Image from Marvin Lough
Pediatric TestingPediatric Testing
Pediatric Testing
Performing pulmonary diagnostics on an infant.
Image from Marvin Lough
Pediatric TestingPediatric 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 MeterMini-Wright Peak Flow Meter
Mini-Wright Peak Flow Meter
Image from Angela Eaton
1980s Breon 24001980s 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 Spirometer1980s Breon 2400 Spirometer
1980s Breon 2400 Spirometer
Circa 1980 -Top view of the Breon 2400.
Image from Tony Ruppert
1980s Computerized Graphics1980s Computerized Graphics
1980s Computerized Graphics
Image from James Sullivan
Flow-Volume LoopFlow-Volume Loop
Flow-Volume Loop
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