Protective Equipment and Breathing Apparatus

FAO25

Captain
In this post we see two types and three manufacturers of early 20th century breathing apparatus. The first and last firemen in line wear Paul Self Contained Breathing Apparatus or "Oxygen Helmets". Note that the Paul Masks are not full face piece. There is a mouthpiece for breathing through. The men wearing the Paul Masks appear to be wearing Nod & Shake Goggles for eye protection. These goggles were thick and contained an area where one would insert a few drops of water. By nodding and shaking the head the water would move over the inside of the eyepiece and clear any fogging. The second in line wears an Atmos SCBA. The third wears a filter type respirator or "Gas Mask" with an "All-Service" Type filter canister. Note also the handlight, probably a dry cell battery possibly by the Carpenter Company. Also note the two ropes for use as search or "Life" lines. Circa 2-28-1922

The second Photo shows all breathing apparatus full front. Also note the helmet frontpieces.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
 

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FAO25

Captain
This photo shows two Filter Type masks and a McCaa SCBA. Circa 5-29-1929

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
 

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FAO25

Captain
FAO25 said:
Two Views of the Atmos SCBA Circa 1935.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
This Self Contained Breathing Apparatus was of the Closed Circuit Re-Breather Type. The exhaled breath was passed through a chemical which absorbed or "scrubbed" the carbon dioxide and then was passed to a breathing bag. Compressed oxygen, from a small tank, was metered into the breathing bag to compensate for the oxygen used by the wearer and mixed with the recycled air. In the first photo you can see the system's components. The short fat canister contained the scrubbing chemical and the long cylinder with the valve on top contained the oxygen. Depending on the model and brand these systems could be found in 30 minute, 60 minute and 120 minute versions. All were originally developed from mine rescue gear.
 

Box 2565

Engine 16 Box Responses
Staff member
Squad 52 in Cincinnati carried Paul, Vajen-Bader, and Draeger SCBA.
Steve Hagy collection.
 

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FAO25

Captain
Box 2565 said:
Squad 52 in Cincinnati carried Paul, Vajen-Bader, and Draeger SCBA.
Steve Hagy collection.
While I intended this thread to be"Protective" Breathing Apparatus this Excellent photo also shows two "Resuscitation" Breathing Apparatus. The case next to the Lifegun is a Draeger Pulmotor and the silver bicycle pump looking device is a Lungmotor ( which is basically a bicycle pump turned into a resuscitator). The Lungmotor frequently had a sort of rounded pyramid shaped oxygen generator that was attached to it by hoses but the device could function with ambient air.
Great photo as always Steve!
 

FAO25

Captain
In this picture we see three types of breathing device. The early SCBA Oxygen-Rebreather Type on the left and the Filter Type Mask on the right. In the center and on the floor is an early Supplied Air-Positive Pressure Breathing Apparatus. The Fresh Air Hose Mask- The hose could be up to 150' long and the mask came in one or two head models. The person at the suitcase would manually crank the blower to supply air to the entrant. The intake had to be placed in good air and the person cranking had to be attentive.
Who's your buddy?
Photo appears to be Boston Rescue Co. 3 in the Bowdoin Square Fire House.

Photo Courtesy of Boston Public Library-Leslie Jones Collection
 

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