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'Pneumostat' inhaler, London, England, 1934-1935

Medical treatments breathed in from inhalers like this treated asthma. This lung condition causes shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing. The inhaler is known as the ‘Pneumostat’. An electric compressor turns liquid medications into a fine mist for inhalation through a mouthpiece. These devices are now called nebulisers. They were introduced in the 1930s. The ’Pneumostat’ had an adjustable speed setting. It was made by Francis Riddell Limited in London and came in a carrying case for portability.

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    Glossary: inhaler

    A device for breathing in a drug in order to deliver it to the airways or lungs.

    Glossary: asthma

    A common condition in which the airways go into spasm and become constricted. It causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing. It is often a reaction to hypersensitivity, but can also be triggered by exercise or stress.