Old Gray Mare
WLM ID: aiwl | Catalog Record
Founded by Richard von Foregger (1872-1960), the Foregger Company was a major manufacturer of anesthesia equipment and contributed significantly to the development of the practice of anesthesiology. It was not unusual for Foregger to work closely with prominent anesthesiologists to design equipment for personal use, as well as for mass production. Around 1924 the "Old Gray Mare" was made by Foregger specifically for Dr. Arthur E. Guedel (1883-1956), based on Guedel's specifications. It is the first known cabinet-style anesthesia machine, with a built-in table top and drawers. This eventually became a standard structural design for anesthesia machines. Guedel steadily relied upon this apparatus for such a significant number of anesthesia cases that he was known to refer to it as the "Old Gray Mare." Engraved into the table top are numerous signatures made in tribute to Guedel by his colleagues.
Dr. Guedel is well known for having developed a guide to the stages and physical signs of ether anesthesia. Anesthesiologists around the world relied upon the guide for nearly half a century. Additionally, Guedel designed a popular oral airway that is still in use today. He also played a pivotal role in the development of inhalation anesthesia by carefully developing, testing and improving an endotracheal tube with an inflatable rubber cuff.