Palmer Inhaler

WLMD ID: arbf

In 1914, Thomas Drysdale Buchanan, M.D. (1876-1940) served as President of the New York Society of Anesthetists (NYSA), which later became the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  Bissell Barbour Palmer, Jr., D.D.S. (1889-1968) served as President of the American College of Dentists in 1933-1934. In the mid-1920s, Drs. Palmer and Buchanan partnered to design a modification of the Flagg Can ether inhaler.

Paluel J. Flagg, M.D. (1886-1970) served as NYSA President in 1919-1920.  He described his inhaler in 1916. Unlike his many airway management devices, it was improvised. To make a Flagg Can, one simply attached a tube to the open spout of any ether tin and made holes in the top of the tin to admit fresh air. Caution was needed when punching those holes, so that a spark would not ignite the volatile ether. Holding the can in one hand warmed the ether, speeding its evaporation.

Dr. Palmer's modification added a sliding plate with a built-in tube. By turning the cover the holes could be partially or fully closed, increasing the concentration of the ether vapor inhaled by the patient. The inhaler could also be sterilized. The example shown here was probably made in New York City.


Catalog Record: Palmer Inhaler Contact [email protected] for catalog record.