27th December 2012
4th June 2012
14th May 2011
19th June 2010
10th November 2009
Alfred Ramey invented two inhalers and formed the Ramey Medicator Co. In Illinois. A tin of Kutnow’s asthmatic powder now accompanies the advert. I’m trying to locate a Curtis ceramic inhaler, if you have one e-mail me please.
14th September 2009
11th July 2009
Two ceramic inhalers added today, both from the early 1900’s. Firstly the Sanitas inhaler, which is a Nelson-type inhaler and secondly the Shaw inhaler.
14th February 2009
Valentine’s day! And what better to add to the site than a Valentine inhaler! How romantic!
29th December 2008
The concept of a coffee inhaler is appealing and in the late 1800’s a Dr W.O. Coffee gave his name to an inhaler, though it is unlikely to have included caffeine. Some time ago I listed a ‘Perfect’ inhaler from Gilbertson, today another ‘Perfect inhaler’, this time from Sumner of Liverpool, c1880s.
28th December 2008
22nd October 2008
An asthma powder advert from 1885 has been added, Girdwood’s Patent Asthma Remedy. Also added a UK advert for the Ammoniaphone, also from 1885. A link to www.Phisick.com has been included - great collection of medical antiques.
23rd June 2008
The Munyon’s glass inhaler has been part of the collection for a good time, but recently a bakelite Munyon’s inhaler was added. Another example of Asthma cigarettes, Reichenhaller from Germany, has also been added.
3rd February 2008
Hemlock is now known to be poisonous, but it was one of the earliest substances to be listed as an inhalant in a pharmacopoeia. The Hemlock inhaler originates from New Hampshire.
The search for the earliest reference to a Dry Powder inhaler opened a new chapter. I had believed that Newton’s inhaler from 1864 was the best candidate but further research has revealed that Dr Chambers of London was using a dry powder of silver nitrate and lycopodium as far back as 1848. The search continues!
27th December 2007
Apologies to those who’ve been looking for updates recently - but here are some interesting items. The Adams inhaler was popular in late Victorian times. It was a variant of the Siegle inhaler. Also added today 2 adverts for the Abbott Aerohalor. A further addition is the Germicide inhaler.
7th July 2007
28th May 2007
23rd April 2007
Siegle’s inhaler was the first of the steam driven inhalers and an old one from the 1860’s has been added to the collection.
8th April 2007
In the 1890’s Burney Yeo, a London physician, developed a respirator known as the Burney Yeo’s inhaler, for inhaling antiseptics,
10th March 2007
In 1871 Morell Mackenzie described his Eclectic inhaler, it was a splendid ceramic construction.
25th February 2007
27th January 2007
Three new additions today; the Globe nebulizers, the Burgess atomizer and the Monarch atomizer, all from the USA at the end of the nineteenth century. Thanks to Dr Abramovitz for contributing two of the Globe nebulizer adverts, and some other images which will appear on future updates.
3rd December 2006
5th November 2006
8th October 2006
The Inhaleur à Soufflerie (Gavioli) originates from the 1880s in Paris and was constructed by Charles Verdin, a well known medical device maker. A new photo of the Worst inhaler which became known as the Co-ro-na inhaler has been added - I can only speculate as to why it chose to change its name!
30th July 2006
The prohibition of alcohol in America during the 1920’s made it difficult to obtain spirits unless for medical reasons. The Whiskey cure prescription shown was issued for a case of asthma. Also added Cushman’s menthol inhaler.
24th June 2006
An example of the Oxford inhaler has been added to the website. Also added today is the ‘Inexhal’ from France, an adaptable inhaler for delivering vapour via the mouth or nose. Also from France, a combustible powder called ‘Poudre Escouflaire’.
29th May 2006
1st May 2006
30th April 2006
Vapo-haler was an antiseptic spray for the treatment of catarrh, advertised in 1907. An advert for Potter’s asthma cure has also been added. There are a number of items to be added over the next few weeks, as time permits. This page has been redesigned to permit the whole history of Inhalatorium updates to be listed on the same page.
19th March 2006
Many thanks to Dr Abramovitz for a number of pictures which will be added over the next few weeks. The first is a Trixy inhaler and packaging, it compliments the advert nicely.
While the oldest published illustration of an inhaler identified by Inhalatorium is that of Christopher Bennet, undoubtedly the oldest description comes from the ancient Egyptian Ebers papyrus written about 1500 BC, this is a remedy for indigestion involving three plant components, “Crush into one. Take Seven Stones and make them hot in the fire. Take one of them and put therein the above mentioned ingredients. Cover it up in a new vessel, bore a hole in its bottom (? lid). Put thy mouth to this reed that thou mayst inhale the steam therefrom. Likewise with the remaining six Stones. Afterwards eat something fatty, either Fat, Meat or Oil”. Translation by Cyril Bryan.
26th February 2006
Many thanks to Denise Daniel for a copy of a letter from the Kola Company concerning the Kola asthma cure.
22nd January 2006
Just added; a further example of a Lynch inhaler, a John Bell & Croyden inhaler and a Japanese steam inhaler.
14th December 2005
The New Corona Generator inhaler was an early plastic device for delivering pine oil to the airways.
A number of the items in the collection were used to illustrate a talk on the History of Inhalation this month as part of the Aerosol Society’s meeting (Drug Delivery to the Lungs) in Edinburgh.
Inhalatorium has had to implement a number of security measures (including watermarks) to the website, this is due to unauthorised copies of the entire site being made. Images continue to be supplied free-of-charge for bona fide medical education, simply ask for any pictures you need.
28th October 2005
The quest to find the earliest published illustration of a medical inhaler device took a big step recently. Christopher Bennet, an English physician, suffering from consumption, wrote, in 1654, Theatri Tabidorum - inside were four pictures of his inhalation device and a description..
10th October 2005
Munyon’s inhaler was a popular device used for all types of lung disease. It was patented towards the end of the 19th century in UK, but was very common in the USA before this.
3rd September 2005
The Pyninhaler was a remedy for a number of respiratory conditions, offered by the Pyninhaler Company of Farringdon Avenue, London. Not only was the inhalant made from pine trees, but the glass inhaler was supplied in a protective pine canister.
14th August 2005
Asthmal cigarettes were made by Waterbury cigarette company of New York to a formula of Frank Miller, for the relief of asthma and other bronchial disorders. The instruction was to smoke two to five in succession to provide relief.
30th July 2005
Kutnow’s powder and cigarettes were sold to cure hay fever and treat asthma, an advert from 1897 is now included. For other asthma cigarettes click here.
2nd July 2005
The Chiswell inhaler is an uncommon ceramic inhaler from London. Another inhaler from London is the May Roberts, two examples are shown. A pack of Requa’s Cubeb Cigarettes which were smoked to alleviate bronchial problems has been added.
11th June 2005
Possibly the most unlikely case of inhaler use, follow this link to find out.
8th June 2005
A search facility has been included. Now you can quickly search this website.
5th June 2005
After much searching a Bedford inhaler has been added to the collection. A very attractive brass Steam inhaler has also been added.
28th May 2005
Two recent lectures at medical meetings (AARC and ATS) featured slides from Inhalatorium. A photograph of an early example of a Wedgwood creamware inhaler has been added, the inhaler is thought to date from 1790. It may have been used to inhale Balsam in hot water. A very early example of a Balsam is Turlington’s Balsam which received the King’s patent in 1744.
8th May 2005
In the second half of the 1800s the inhalation of ammonium chloride was popular as an antiseptic. Inhalers were made that mixed ammonia and acid to make the fumes that could be inhaled. Kirkwood’s inhaler was one such.
2nd May 2005
The Ideal Pulmonary Inspirator was an apparatus supplied to doctors for administering antiseptic remedies to the lungs - the 1895 advert for this device describes its use.
10th April 2005
An important figure in the history of nebulisation is Dr Sales-Giróns. His portable ‘pulverisateur’ was the subject of a sliver medal from the Paris Academy of Science in 1858.
25th March 2005
Perhaps one of the earliest forms of medicinal inhalation was the unusual mask worn by the plague doctors. Shaped like a bird’s beak it contained spices to purify the inhaled air. The Plague doctor illustration originates from an epidemic of plague in Marseilles in 1720.
10th March 2005
A 1954 advert for AsthmaNefrin has been added.
1st March 2005
A new addition to the collection is a Blue bulb inhaler, a hand operated atomizer, patented in 1900. This attractive inhaler must have a proper name, but so far it has eluded my research, please write if you know.
27th February 2005
A small Hockin’s Bronchial inhaler joins the Hockin’s ACME inhaler. A 1907 advert showing the nasal use of a steam powered atomizer has been added. An example of Dr Worst’s advertising from 1907 has been added.
15th February 2005
Potter’s were famous in Britain in the 1900’s for their asthma remedies. The Potter’s Patent Inhaler was a small inverted funnel in which asthma powders could be burned and the fumes inhaled.
13th February 2005
Several early inhalers were promoted as suitable for inhalation through the mouth or nose, the Double inhaler from Weisbaden was one such. It was a hand-powered nebuliser for administering eucalyptus.
12th February 2005
A fine example of a Regesan’s pack of asthma cigarettes has been included among the asthma cigarettes. A new addition is the 20th Century inhaler, a hard rubber device patented in 1900. A display of certain Inhalatorium pictures is currently underway in Pittsburgh, and another is being prepared for the International Society of Aerosol Medicine next month in Perth.
1st February 2005
An advert for Dr Schiffmann’s Asthma Cure from 1899 has been added. An original Gilbertson’s inhaler has also been acquired. A beautifully presented Humana inhaler from Prague has joined the collection.
19th January 2005
The Volatilizer was a combined vaporizer and inhaler - for advert and inhaler click the link. The Alexandra inhaler is an attractive colourful and uncommon ceramic inhaler.
31st December 2004
Two new additions; the Duo-haler, a nasal inhaler, and a combustible powder known as Haywood’s.
12th December 2004
An original Westminster inhaler has been added, click the link to compare the original with the modern replica.
Inhalatorium is grateful to Bob Sokol for the use of his picture of the Ammoniaphone, which complements the advert also shown here.
Inhalatorium is also indebted to Lon Stanley for the photos of ‘the Inhalatorium’. It was a box, similar to a telephone cabin, in which the patient would sit while vapours from a nearby stove were pumped in. Therapy or torture!
29th November 2004
A ceramic Savars inhaler, similar to a small Dr Nelson inhaler, has been added.
14th November 2004
The image of the Saunders inhaler has been updated to show the correct mouthpiece. A picture of the 1940’s German-made Brosig’s asthma cigarettes is now included. A ceramic Nelson’s inhaler with a ceramic mouthpiece has also been added.
25th October 2004
In 1767 Philip Stern wrote a pamphlet entitled Medical Advice to the Consumptive and asthmatic people of England. Pictured in the pamphlet is Stern’s vessel (the word inhaler was first used by John Mudge in 1778) for delivering his secret recipe of balsamic substances. This is believed to be the first published picture of an inhaler.
In 1936 The London Inhalatorium published a handbook of Medicated Inhalation Therapy describing the administration of many different inhalants that could be nebulised through the Apneu Inhaling apparatus (Spiess Drager). Among the inhalants; adrenalin (prepared in a number of different ways), camphor, eucalyptus, turpentine, menthol, phenol and insulin.
16th October 2004
The drawing from the US patent filing has been added to Abbott’s Aerohalor.
26th September 2004
An early example of a compressor nebuliser manufactured during the 1930s by Weil, the Pneumostat, is now listed.
16th September 2004
The electric inhaler - actually it is not electrical - from 1890 has been added to the collection. It is a menthol inhaler with character! From Abbott’s Menthol Plaster Co. A real gem at only 25 cents!
9th September 2004
Further information on the steam-powered inhaler has been added. The principle on which it is based was first presented in Paris in 1858 by Sales-Giron. A few years later Dr Siegle utilised this principle in his invention of the Siegle inhaler.
24th August 2004
Modern art mingles with historic inhalers! Damien Hirst’s thought provoking installation ‘The Asthmatic Escaped’ is reproduced here with kind permission. Your suggestions for other works of art that feature inhalers are appreciated, to see those already included follow the link Art & Curios.
15th August 2004
A bakelite Catarrhozone inhaler originating from Canada has been added. Also a picture of a Whitall Tatum steam inhaler has been added to the existing steam-powered inhaler. A third (improved) version of the Glasgow made Little Victor Inhaler has also been added, complete with packaging.
The inhalation of antibiotics is an area of recent interest, but even in 1952 the Penicillin Inhalation Set from Armour Laboratories represented one of the earlier attempts. This early capsule inhaler was suitable for both nasal and oral use.
July 10th 2004
Inhalatorium acquired a Dr Alabone’s inhaler, which is described in his 1912 book.
June 26th 2004
Art corner - to add a little culture to the matter Inhalatorium is featuring inhalers in art - the first two examples are a 1937 lithograph by Eric Ravilious entitled Pharmaceutical Chemist and a picture showing what is considered to be the earliest medicinal use of tobacco. If you know of other works of art that feature inhalers please let me know.
An ornate German porcelain steam inhaler joins the collection and a large bronchial kettle understood to date from 1860 has been added. A new item of historical curiosity, an inhaler from the Arica culture of Northern Chile, from about 1500 a.d. Also added Rexall’s asthmatic powder - another stramonium product.
June 20th 2004
Art meets science! The newly-added Inhalvase is a fine French example of this. The inhaler doubles as a vase. No doubt strongly fragrant flowers would have been necessary to mask the balsam smells of inhalants
For some time Crumb’s inhaler has sat on the ‘Do you know?’ page - now it has moved onto a page of its own as further information has become available.
June 4th 2004
In 1798 a description of Dr Withering’s inhaler was published in the Annals of Medicine. The illustration is very crude but the article tells us how it worked. Withering also describes difficulties encountered with the Mudge inhaler that had been first described twenty years earlier. Interestingly, Withering attributes Mudge with the first use of the term ‘inhaler’.
A very politically incorrect advert for Compound Oxygen appeared in 1891 and has been added.
May 31st 2004
Delivering soft balmy Italian air, the Ammoniaphone was popular in 1886.
May 24th 2004
Another example of asthma cigarettes, Page’s inhalers, have been added.
On the 8th of May photos from the Inhalatorium collection depicting ‘asthma in the good old days’ were exhibited in Pittsburg at the 5th Annual Asthma Fair. Over 3,500 people participated in this huge success.
May 15th 2004
Two ceramic inhalers have been added, an attractive floral Hockin’s ACME inhaler and a S. Maw & son Nelson inhaler dating from c1865. There are several Maw’s inhalers already on the website, all are slightly different. The first Nelson’s inhaler was reported in the Lancet as a new invention in 1865 and carried the name of S. Maw & Son. In 1870 Maw’s became known as S. Maw, Son & Thompson until around 1900 when it became known as S. Maw, Son & Sons.
The glass bowl from the inside of a pillow inhaler has been added.
May 3rd 2004
A French steam-power inhaler based on Dr Siegle’s device (described by Mackenzie in 1871) has just been added.
April 25th 2004
Have you been to an oxygen bar recently? Visitors to Tokyo and Las Vegas will be familiar with these ‘bars’ where people can inhale oxygen enriched air. A new idea? Not really, Scientific American in 1895 reported a similar establishment in Saint Raphael, an ozone bar.
Inhaling ‘pure’ oxygen was an idea that was first advocated by Dr Beddoes, a friend of Sir Humphrey Davy and James Watt. He set up a ‘pneumatic institute’ in Bristol dedicated to the purpose in 1799. Beddoes inhalation apparatus was illustrated in a book published in 1856, by the Medical Pneumatic Apparatus Company.
April 18th 2004
A replica Gilbertson’s perfect inhaler was added today.
April 10th 2004
An electric version of the Vapo-Cresolene vaporizer has now been added.
April 3rd 2004
Two new ceramic inhalers added today; the Million inhaler and the Universal inhaler. Holford’s famous inhaler has also been added and Potter’s asthma pills too. A picture of Kellogg’s asthma cigarettes has been added. Pride of place though goes to a nice example of a Mudge inhaler - further background notes on Mudge inhalers will be added in the future.
March 31st 2004
The Ayrton Saunders catalogue of 1922 establishes that the Household inhaler, Saunders family inhaler and the Million inhaler (to be added shortly) were available at that time. The Godfrey’s inhaler is also listed.
The Maw’s 1869 catalogue illustrates Dr Nelson inhalers very similar (but without Thompson name) to the example in the collection (page 38). Also illustrated is a Mudge inhaler and a Dr Ramadge inhaler.
March 30th 2004
Attempts to date some of the ceramic inhalers have brought success. Ceramic inhalers date from around 1850. The Maw’s double valved inhaler is from c1869. The Boots hygienic inhaler can be traced to between 1890 and 1920 (from the Boots Cash Chemist logo which subsequently changed to Boots the Chemist). The Velfin inhaler is understood to date from between 1920 and 1940. The Nelson inhalers (and those of a similar shape) are harder to date precisely, but old examples (usually with glass mouthpieces containing a sponge) are likely to be Victorian. Nelson inhalers are still manufactured today. Many thanks to those in museums and libraries who kindly assisted in this exercise. If anyone can contribute further information on these devices it would be much appreciated.
March 27th 2004
A curious American indian double-bowled pipe has been added. A Smith’s menthol inhaler has been added to the ‘Do you know?’ page - please let me know if you have information about the origins of this inhaler.
March 24th 2004
An engraving of the Mudge inhaler from his 1778 book has been added.
March 20th 2004
The Paroleine inhaler added recently has been supplemented with a photograph of the bottle of Paroleine inhalant. The Jupiter inhaler is an interesting, portable, battery-operated, nasal inhaler that vaporises oils for the treatment of asthma and grippe. A new photograph of Asthma Nefrin has been added. A replica Shutze inhaler has also been added.
To be added in the near future; a trade card for Crow’s bronchial wafers, extracts from an 1839 article on emotions and asthma (by N. Allen), and extracts from Broadbent’s 1862 book on Consumption which also covers ‘the treatment by inhalation of medicated vapors’ and gives details of the medications of the period.
March 14th 2004
An exciting new acquisition for the collection is a copy of John Mudge’s 1778 book which describes his inhaler - in the next couple of weeks images and PDFs will appear on the Mudge inhaler page.
Some other publications covering important issues in inhalation history will also be appearing over the next few weeks.
March 7th 2004
A Mayan pipe, probably over 500 years old, has been added to the historical curios section. Burroughs Wellcome’s Paroleine Atomiser has been added. A tiny tin of Mentholatum, indicated for influenza, has also been added. An image of Himalya Kola asthma cure bottles kindly contributed by David Ide has been added.
March 2nd 2004
An 1839 extract about Ramadge’s inhaling tube has been included as a PDF file. Coming soon... some images of Himalya Kola asthma cure bottles kindly contributed by David Ide.
February 29th 2004
Two new additions today; 1) Rogers’ throat spray - for which any information would be welcomed, and 2) a Maxim Menthol Inhaler image - sister product to the Maxim Pipe of Peace.
February 21st 2004
The Influenza section has just been revised to allow for recent additions, including some cartoons from Punch.
February 15th 2004
Several additions added today; an Adrenalin inhaler, a nasal ‘Little Victor’ inhaler, details concerning the Maxim menthol inhaler and a further picture of Himrod’s asthma cure.
A fascinating collection of 500 exquisite antique and modern snuff bottles are on display at the OK Gallery in Tokyo at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel.
February 7th 2004
“A long and winding road” by Suzanne Rutkowski is the story of Asthma through the years, published in the latest Asthma magazine. All the images were provided by Inhalatorium. Use the link below and select the first article.
In 1854 Samuel Fitch in “Functions of the lungs” described an inhaling tube invented nine years earlier by Dr Ramadge. It was about 135cm long and resembled a pipe. It was used for the treatment of consumption and asthma. A PDF download describing this curious device is available.
February 3rd 2004
Three different brands of asthma cigarettes; Blosser’s, Dr Guild’s Green Mountain and Kinsman’s have been added to the asthma cigarettes page.
An Improved Inspirator, very similar to the American Inspirator has just been added.
Dr Graydon’s inhaler is a bit of a mystery. It is believed to be American. It is listed in Do you know - if you do please let me have any details.
The Abbott Aerohalor has been supplemented by the addition of an advert for this product. It is available as a PDF download.
January 25th 2004
A pot of Nature’s Herbal Ointment, a cure-all for all pulmonary complaints has been added.
An example of Pech’s electric inhaler has been added.
Bleyer’s bronchial spray, published in 1890 in JAMA, was a novel method for delivering medication to the deep lung. This fascinating article describes the apparatus and emphasises correct usage technique - an issue that remains with us 114 years later!
Another new addition is a brochure for the Carbolic Smoke Ball - the four page brochure may be downloaded as a PDF file.
In response to requests PDF files of some of the adverts have been created and progressively more will follow. Where available a PDF download link is shown.
The first official formulae of inhalation medicines were listed in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1867. Five formulae are described, including hydrocyanic acid - which was used for the treatment of dry cough, however, in large doses it is lethal as it can paralyse respiration. Vapour of hemlock is also described, it was also used as a treatment for cough. Vapour of creosote is also described, this was used as a treatment for tuberculosis and bronchitis. Contrast this with the 1913 French treatments listed in Les Maladies des Poumons et des Bronches (available as a PDF download).