Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gas masks

So every Steampunk knows about Goggles being famous in the genre (and another post on that some other time) but another famous one is Gas Masks. In the middle of the victorian era they had plenty of diseases, and were only just finding out how dangerous germs were. Well, sometimes there's just nothing you can do but get a gas mask. What's a sophisticated English lady or gentleman to do?

Get Haslett's Lung Protector!

Here is what the Wikipedia article on Respirators has to say:

"The first US patent for an air purifying respirator was granted to Lewis P. Haslett in 1848 for his 'Haslett's Lung Protector,' which filtered dust from the air using one-way clapper valves and a filter made of moistened wool or a similar porous substance. Following Haslett, a long string of patents were issued for air purifying devices, including patents for the use of cotton fibers as a filtering medium, for charcoal and lime absorption of poisonous vapors, and for improvements on the eyepiece and eyepiece assembly. Hutson Hurd patented a cup-shaped mask in 1879 that became widespread in industrial use, and Hurd's H.S. Cover Company was still in business in the 1970s."

It's not particularly useful to know this unless you happen to be writing a story set in the 1800's, but I found it immensely interesting, so I figured it was worth a remark. The rest of the Wiki entry on the subject is also quite fascinating.

Never underestimate a quick wiki search when you need fast information for a FICTIONAL story. (Don't use it when writing fact, you'll make a fool out of yourself using Wikipedia as a source. I only use it here because I would only write Fiction/Science Fiction. I suggest cross-referencing with other studies or -even better- using google scholar to find scholarly papers on the subject, if you chose to write accurate history.)

Just some fun facts that might prove useful for Victorian writers.

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