A Short History of Gas Masks.

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Primitive respirator examples were used by miners and introduced by Alexander von Humboldt already in 1799, when he worked as a mining engineer in Prussia; long before that there was a Plague doctor’s bird beak shaped mask/face piece filled with herbs.
The forerunner to the modern gas mask was invented in 1847 by Lewis P. Haslett, a device that contained elements that allowed breathing through a nose and mouthpiece, inhalation of air through a bulb-shaped filter, and a vent to exhale air back into the atmosphere.

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According to First Facts, it states that the “gas mask resembling the modern type was patented by Lewis Phectic Haslett of Louisville, Kentucky who received a patent on June 12, 1849.”  U.S. patent #6,529 issued to Haslett, described the first “Inhaler or Lung Protector” that filtered dust from the air.

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Early versions were constructed by the Scottish chemist John Stenhouse (above) in 1854 and the physicist John Tyndall in the 1870s.

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