Foregger Seattle

WLMD ID: akwk

The Seattle Model, made by the Foregger Company, was the first four-gas anesthesia machines. It was designed in 1923 to the specifications of Dr. John Silas Lundy (1894-1973), who was then practicing in Seattle, WA. Along with liquid ether, the machine could administer the established gases nitrous oxide and oxygen, as well as the newest anesthetic agents, carbon dioxide and ethylene.

An organic compound, ethylene was first synthesized in 1795. Its use as an inhalation anesthetic was introduced in March, 1923. At that time, also, carbon dioxide was coming into vogue both as an induction and a resuscitation agent. Dr. Lundy was the first to put them all together on one anesthesia apparatus.

The following year, Dr. Lundy was invited to become head of the new Department of Anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. There he asked the local manufacturer, Heidbrink, to make him a larger machine that had two yokes for each of the four gases. Other manufacturers soon followed this lead, and machines that can administer multiple gases became the norm.

Catalog Record: Foregger Seattle Foregger Seattle

Access Key: akwk

Accession No.: 2013-09-06-1

Title: Seattle model / Foregger.

Author: Lundy, John S. (Silas), 1894-1973.

Author: Foregger, Richard von, 1872-1960.

Corporate Author: Foregger Company.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Foregger Seattle.

Publisher: New York : Foregger, [between 1923 and 1948?].

Physical Description: 1 anesthesia machine : metals, glass, leather ; 52.5 x 22.5 x 34.5 cm.

Subject: Lundy, John (Silas), 1894-1973.
Subject: Anesthesia Machines.
Subject: Anesthesia, Inhalation – instrumentation.
Subject: Ethylene.
Subject: Carbon Dioxide – therapeutic use.
Subject: Oxygen.
Subject: Nitrous Oxide.

Web Link:

Note Type: General
Notes: The early year in the date range is based on the date that Dr. Lundy describes in a number of articles and that is printed in the 1926 Foregger catalog on page 2. The end date is an estimate based on the 1942, 1949 and 1952 Foregger catalogs. The Seattle Model No. 2 is in the 1942 catalog but not the 1949 or 1952 catalogs. It is possible that the last year that Foregger manufactured the Seattle model is earlier. Also it is possible that this particular machine was manufactured before 1926, as the “Seattle Model No. 2” illustration in the 1926 catalog appears to have 6 turn knobs (the four on the one described here, with a fifth above the ethylene canister and sixth above the oxygen canister. The date range could change if documentation indicates that the range should be corrected.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Catalog 1926. New York: The Foregger Company, Inc.; 1926:2, 21. [The Seattle Model No. 2 is in this catalog It seems to have 6 turn knobs for 4 cylinders.]

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Catalog No. 8. New York: The Foregger Company, Inc.; 1942:41.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Catalog No. 9. New York: The Foregger Company, Inc.; 1949. [The Seattle Model is not in the 1949 catalog.]

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Catalog No. 10. New York: The Foregger Company, Inc.; 1952.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Corssen G. John S. Lundy: father of intravenous anesthesia. In: Rupreht J, van Lieburg MJ, Lee JA, Erdmann W, eds. Anaesthesia: Essays on Its History. Berlin: Springer; 1985:42-44.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Lundy JS. From this point in time: some memories of my part in the history of anesthesia—John S. Lundy, MD. J Am Assoc Nurse Anesth. 1997;65(4):323-328.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Lundy JS. Ethylene and oxygen as an anesthetic for infants. JAMA. 1924;82(6):448-449.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Lundy JS. Memories of 30 years of group experience in anesthesia. Minn Med. 1968;51(6):867-328.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Obituary. Can Anaesth Soc J. 1973;20(4):595-596.

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: One anesthesia machine on a short stand with four legs; The measurements and description are taken from the perspective that treats the side with the water site feed bottle (or bubble bottle) as the front; It measures approximately 52.2 x 22.1 x 34.5 cm; There are four yokes for smaller gas cylinders; The following is stamped on each yoke “U.S. PATENT [new line] October 24th 1922”; Next to each yoke is a turn knob; The knob on the front left is red and marked, “C2H4”; The knob on the back left is black and marked, “N2O”; The knob on the back right is marked, “O2”, and the knob on the front right is marked, “O2 OR CO2”; A metal tube runs from the valve under each turn knob to the top of one of four sight feed tubes in the glass bottle; Manufacture markings are embossed on support bars for the head of the device; The markings are, “SEATTLE MODEL” and “FOREGGER NEW YORK”; On the bottom of the right side of the head of the apparatus, between the O2 and O2 or CO2 yokes, is a threaded bolt that may be where a heater could be attached; The bubble bottle is threaded at the top and can be removed by turning; Two tubes extend horizontally from the top of the bubble bottle; The longer one is for the vaporizer attachment; The purpose of the short one with a small turn valve is not clear; The legs have no wheels.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch, September 17, 2013.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: As a young man in North Dakota, Dr. John S. Lundy (1894-1973) was taught to administer anesthesia for a friend and physician who encouraged Lundy to pursue a medical degree. In 1920, after graduating from Rush Medical College and completing an internship, Dr. Lundy opened his own office in Seattle where he built a successful group anesthesia practice.

In 1923, Dr. Lundy engaged the New York manufacturer Richard von Foregger to build a portable anesthesia machine modeled after the well-known Gwathmey Apparatus. Named the “Seattle Model,” Lundy’s device could accommodate four small gas cylinders and an ether vaporizer. The gases Lundy had in mind were nitrous oxide, oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene. Having first been used in Chicago in May of 1923, ethylene was an exciting a new agent at that time.

Dr. Lundy did not use the new machine in Seattle for long. An opportune encounter with Dr. William J. Mayo led the young and ambitious anesthesiologist to move to Rochester, Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic in March, 1924. Shortly after the move, Lundy engaged Minneapolis dentist, inventor, and manufacturer Jay A. Heidbrink (1875-1957) to develop a larger device, the Lundy Rochester Anesthesia Machine.

During his 35-year career at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Lundy significantly advanced the profession and pioneered a number of advances in the practice and teaching of anesthesiology, including balanced anesthesia, blood banking, and intravenous anesthesia.

Note Type: Exhibition
Notes: Selected for the WLM website.