Ombrédanne’s Inhaler with original bag
Date of manufacture:
Professor Louis Ombredanne (1871-1956), the inventor of the apparatus, was a French surgeon who introduced his ether inhaler in 1908. It was subsequently widely used throughout Europe, being manufactured by various makers in the early 1900s.
In 1907, after two fatal anesthetic accidents, Ombrédanne sought to produce a prototype of an inhaler that would be safer to use. It consisted of a metal spherical vessel packed with felt to act as a wick and absorbant for the liquid ether. The swivel control appears to admit air to minimise rebreathing at its lower setting (0), increasing the exposure to ether vapour and to rebreathing at higher settings (8). The bag is not conveniently removable.
Barry, C. T., 'The Ombredanne Inhaler', (1961), Anaesthesia, 16, 184.