Haldane Gas Analysis Apparatus

WLMD ID: amdt
John Scott Haldane (1860-1936), a Scottish physician and physiologist developed a number of methods for investigating the human respiratory system, and contributed major advancements to our understanding of how the body regulates breathing. In 1898, he introduced a method for measuring the percentage of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the air. His method was adopted and modified by researchers worldwide. Pictured here is a portable version of the “Haldane Gas Analysis Apparatus.” These were made for use outside of laboratory environments.

To measure the CO2 in the air with the Haldane apparatus, a leveling bulb filled with mercury was used to draw a sample of air into a measuring burette. The leveling bulb and taps directed the air sample into a tube containing potassium hydroxide, which absorbed the CO2. The air sample was then re-measured in the measuring burette to determine the loss of volume due to CO2 absorption. The difference in volume divided by the original volume yielded the percentage of CO2 present in the air sample. The percentage of O2 was obtained in a similar manner except that the air was directed into a tube containing potassium pyrogallate, which absorbed the O2 from the sample.

Anesthesiologist and researcher John W. Severinghaus, M.D, donated this Portable Haldane Apparatus to the WLM. It once belonged to physiologist Ralph H. Kellogg (1920-2009). Both men conducted research at the University of California’s White Mountain Research Station and are known for their pioneering work in respiratory and high altitude physiology.

 

Catalog Record: Haldane Gas Analysis Apparatus

Access Key: amdt

Accession No.: 2013-02-11-2 B

Title: [Haldane portable gas analysis apparatus].

Author: Haldane, J. S. (John Scott), 1860-1936.

Corporate Author: Arthur H. Thomas Company.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Portable Haldane apparatus.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Haldane gas-analysis apparatus.

Title variation: Alt Title
Title: Haldane’s gas analysis apparatus.

Publisher: Philadelphia : Arthur H. Thomas Co., [between 1940 and 1960].

Physical Descript: 1 gas analyzer : glass, plastic, rubber, metals, wood, leather ; 70 x 60 x 57 cm.

Subject: Carbon Dioxide – analysis.
Subject: Oxygen – analysis.

Note Type: General
Notes: The early year (1940) in the date range for the possible year of manufacture
of this example of the portable Haldane apparatus is based on the fact that
some of the components are made of clear plastic. In 1920, Arthur H. Thomas
Company sold this apparatus with glass and rubber. Likewise in the Thomas
1921 catalog. There is a chance that some glass and rubber parts where
replaced by clear plastic parts some years after purchase. The end date is an
estimate based on the construction and condition of the apparatus as well as
on the development of other technologies for gas measurement. The date range
may change if documentation, or expert opinion, indicates that it should be
corrected.

Note Type: General
Notes: The title is based on the company’s, the Arthur H. Thomas Company, February,
1920 advertisement in “Science,” and on their 1921 catalog.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Douglas CG. John Scott Haldane, 1860-1936. Obit Not Fell R Soc.
1936;2:114-139.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Email communication from John W. Severinghaus. Accession record. Archives.
Located at: Located at: Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg,
Illinois.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Haldane gas analysis apparatus [advertisement]. Science. February 6,
1920;51(1810):vi. https://books.google.
com/books?id=ezc_AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed
July 23, 2015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Haldane J. Some improved methods of gas analysis. J Physiology. April 25,
1898;22(6):465-480. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.1898.
sp000707/pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Hornbein TF. A tribute to John Wendell Severinghaus. Adv Exp Med Biol.
2003;543:1-6.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Kellogg RH, Timiras PS, eds. 25 Years of High-Altitude Research: White
Mountain Research Station. Berkely, California: University of California;
[1973?]. https://www.wmrc.edu/history/docs/25-years-of-high-altitude-research.
pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Laboratory Apparatus and Reagents Selected for Laboratories of Chemistry,
Metallurgy and Biology in their application to Education, the Industries,
Medicine and the Public Services. Philadelphia: Arthur H. Thomas Company;
1921. https://books.google.
com/books?id=538qAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed
July 22, 2015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Ralph H. Kellogg [obituary]. Legacy.com website. https://www.legacy.
com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.aspx?n=ralph-h-kellogg&pid=136240615. Accessed
July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Citation
Notes: Renbourn ET, Ellison JM. Some errors in gas analysis using the Haldane
apparatus. J Hygiene. June, 1950;48(2):239-256. [The first pae of the article
refers to the “portable haldane apparatus”.]

Note Type: Physical Description
Notes: One gas analysis apparatus in a wooden case; The measurements in the physical
description field were taken with the case upright (side with handle at top)
and the front and right sides open as thought the apparatus were on display
or open for use; The size of the apparatus in the case with the case closed
and upright is approximately 70 x 38 x 12 cm. (height x width x depth); The
top, right and left sides of the case are hinged to the back; A leather
handle is located on the center top; Inside the case the burette, sampling
tubes and pipettes, taps, chemical reservoirs (including the emptied mercury
reservoir), and what may be parts (wire, contacts and a dial) of a rheostat
(the remainder of a rheostat did not accompany this item in acquisition); A
ratchet and pinion are attached to the inside of the front of the case;
nailed to the top of the case is a metal plate marked with the following text
“SOLD BY [new line] ARTHUR H. THOMAS CO. [new line] PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.”;
The case is is relatively good condition but some of the hinges and corners
are a bit loose, so it must be handled with care; There are some stains of
unknown origin (possibly from potash solution) on the back of the inside of
the case.

Note Type: Reproduction
Notes: Photographed by Mr. Steve Donisch, June 4, 2015.

Note Type: Acquisition
Notes: Donated to the WLM by John W. Severinghaus, M.D.

Note Type: Historical
Notes: John Scott Haldane (1860-1936), a Scottish physician and physiologist,
studied body functions in extreme environments, such as in mines and
locations at high altitude or deep underwater. He developed a number of
methods for investigating various aspects of the human respiratory system,
and contributed major advancements to our understanding of how the body
regulates breathing. In 1898, Haldane introduced a method for measuring the
percentage of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the air. It was adopted
and modified by researchers worldwide. Portable versions of the Haldane Gas
Analysis Apparatus, like the one described here, were made for use outside of
laboratory environments.

To measure the CO2 in the air with the Haldane apparatus, a leveling bulb
filled with mercury was used to draw a sample of air into a measuring burette
The leveling bulb and taps directed the air sample into a tube containing
potassium hydroxide, which absorbed the CO2. The air sample was then
re-measured in the measuring burette to determine the loss of volume due to
CO2 absorption. The difference in volume divided by the original volume
yielded the percentage of CO2 present in the air sample. The percentage of O2
was obtained in a similar manner except that the air was directed into a tube
containing potassium pyrogallate, which absorbed the O2 from the sample.

Anesthesiologist and researcher John W. Severinghaus, M.D. donated this
Portable Haldane Apparatus to the WLM. It once belonged to physiologist Ralph
H. Kellogg (1920-2009). Both men conducted research at the University of
California’s White Mountain Research Station (WMRS) and are known for their
pioneering work in respiratory and high altitude physiology. Although this
apparatus was not used at the WMRS, Haldane-like devices were used at the
station during the 1950s and ‘60s. Dr. Severinghaus developed the first
clinically useful blood gas analysis apparatus, performed research in
clinical anesthesia and assisted manufacturers in developing and evaluating
other respiratory monitoring devices.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Boothby WM, Sandiford I. Laboratory Manual of the Technic of Basal Metabolic
Rate Determinations. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company; 1920:56-81.
https://archive.org/details/laboratorymanual00bootrich. Accessed July 23,
2015.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Haldane JS. Methods of Air Analysis. London: Charles Griffin & Company,
Limited; 1912. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.
33433079424739;view=1up;seq=11. Accessed July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Haldane JS, Priestley JG. The regulation of the lung-ventilation. J Physiol.
May 9, 1905;32(3-4):225–266. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov/pmc/articles/PMC1465676/. Accessed July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Jaffe MB. Brief history of time and volumetric capnography. In: Gravenstein
JS, Jaffee MB, Gravenstein N, Paulus DA, ed. Capnography. 2nd ed. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press; 2011.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Jones JG. The Hypoxia Hilton: recollections of a visit, with a postscript by
J W Severinghaus on mechanisms of acute mountain sickness. J R Soc Med.
2002;95(12):606-608. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1279288/.
Accessed July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: Severinghaus JW. Gadgeteering for health care: the John W. Severinghaus
lecture on translational science. Anesthesiology. 2009;110(4):721-728.
https://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/article.aspx?articleid=1923736. Accessed
July 24, 2015.

Note Type: Publication
Notes: West JB. J.S. Haldane and some of his contributions to physiology. Adv Exp
Med Biol. 2008;605:9-15.

Note Type: Exhibition
Notes: Selected for the WLM website (noted July 22, 2015).