Connell War SP

WLMD ID: aimz

In February, 1917, Dr. Karl Connell (1878-1941) introduced his Gas-Oxygen Apparatus. Like his earlier Anesthetometer, this was a nitrous oxide, oxygen and ether anesthesia machine. The new design incorporated many improvements, including more control over gas percentages, a more accurate gauge, greater portability and rugged construction. Just a few months later, the United States entered World War I, and Connell adapted the apparatus for use by both U. S. and Allied forces. The instructions on this model are given in both English and French. Connell's "War Special" was one of several different machines used by U. S. armed forces during WWI, when many field hospitals were staffed and equipped by volunteers. Dr. Connell himself served in the U. S. Army Medical Corps in WWI. He received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1923, for his invention of an improved gas mask.

Catalog Record: Connell War SP Connell War SP

Access Key: aimz

Accession No.: 2011-01-18-1

Title: Connell gas oxygen apparatus : no 213, model war SP / [designed by Karl Connell].

Author: Connell, Karl Albert, 1878-1941.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Connell War SP model on pole stand.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Connell gas-oxygen apparatus, brass model war sp.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Nitrous oxid-oxygen-ether apparatus.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Connell gas-oxygen apparatus special war model.

Publisher: New York : [Scientific Apparatus Co., 1917-1918].

Physical Description: 1 anesthesia delivery apparatus : brass, copper, bronze[?], metal, plastic, glass ; 43 x 25 x 25 cm.

Subject: World War I.
Subject: Military Medicine.
Subject: Anesthesia, Inhalation.
Subject: Anesthesia Machines.
Subject: Nitrous Oxide.
Subject: Ether, Ethyl.

Web Link:

Note Type: General
Notes: Title from manufacturers markings on apparatus; Alternate titles are from the WLM name for the object, an article by Dr. George Bause (2009), an article by Karl Connell (1917), and an advertisement in the October, 1918 issue of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Bause G. Connell gas-oxygen apparatus, brass model war sp. Anesthesiology. 2009;110(5):1015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Connell K. A new nitrous oxid-oxygen-ether apparatus. Am J Surg. 1917;31(4)(anesth suppl):59-60.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: The Connell gas-oxygen apparatus [advertisement]. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1918;24(4):34.

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: The apparatus consists of an ether-container, gas meters, ether vaporizer, and a yoke for four gas-tanks; The brass ether container is conical, with an intake aperture on top; On the ether container is a brass plate with instructions in both English and French: “DIRECTIONS [new line] TO OPERATE THE ETHER DROP, FIRST OPEN THE AIR VALVE SEVERAL TURNS. THIS IS FOR AIR COMPENSATION. THEN TURN THE DROP REGULATOR TO THE LEFT. [new line] INSTRUCTIONS [new line with directions continued in French] …”; Below the ether container is a brass-encased housing for the oxygen and nitrous oxide meters and the ether sight-feed; The meter housing sits atop a rounded rectangular shaped metal cover for the copper gas tubing, safety heater, and the nitrous oxide expanding chamber; Fixed to the front of the rectangular cover is a brass plate with manufacturer’s markings, including: centered “THE [new line] CONNELL GAS [image of apparatus] OXYGEN APPARATUS [new line and space, then right justified] COMPANY [new line] MANUFACTURERS OF SURGICAL SPECIALTIES [new line] NEW YORK [new line] NO 213 MODEL WAR SP”; Stamped in the space below the image of the apparatus and above “MANUFACTURERS OF SUR”, in lettering different than the manufacturer’s, is “BRAND MACH”; The ether vaporizing coil extends downward from below one side of the rectangular cover; Also from below the rectangular cover, four copper gas-tubes extend down to a (bronze?) four pronged yoke; The tips of the yokes are at right angles to one another.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. William Lyle, July 27, 2010; In order to present an image of the apparatus in the best state possible, this example was photographed with gas tanks (or cylinders), mask, bag, and a rubber hose from the Parts Collection; Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch September 20, 2013.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: Dr. Karl Connell introduced his “nitrous oxid-oxygen-ether apparatus” on February 28, 1917 at a meeting of the New York Society of Anesthetists (the precursor to the American Society of Anesthesiologists). His article in the April, 1917 Anesthesia Supplement of the American Journal of Surgery provides a well labeled illustration of the original apparatus with a detailed explanation of its unique features, such as the meters (or ‘rotary vane’ flowmeters) and vaporizing-coil. In addition to the brass model (or “Officers” version), there was a nickel-plated model (Bause, 2009). The United States military acquired the war model for use by US and Allied forces during World War I.

Note Type: Exhibition
Notes: Displayed in the first floor, Northwest Highway, Wood Library-Museum gallery 1999-Oct. 2010. Selected for the WLM web site. Displayed in the remodeled Park Ridge gallery May 2011-March, 2013; Displayed in the Schaumburg WLM-ASA Building, May, 2014–.