Category Archives: 1890s

Spirometer, Lacey’s, 1892


From Patent application number 471,289 dated March 22, 1892.

“The operation of my invention is as follows: The mouth-piece a is placed in the mouth and air slowly inhaled until the lungs are completely filled. The opening S in the side of the main tube is closed by a finger of the person using the instrument and the air which has been taken into the lungs is forced out.  This outward passage of air operates the valve B to close the outlet b, and the column of air, acting on the piston or plunger G, causes the same to move longitudinally in the tube E. A person can thus by repeated tests inform himself as to the increase in the capacity of the lungs by the distance the plunger is moved at each exhalation.  When the instrument is removed from the mouth, the air withing the tube is forced out through the mouth-piece and the opening S by reason of the spring K drawing the plunger or piston back to its normal position.”

Spirometer, Speck, 1892


Designed to measure ventilation during exercise.  Subject inhaled from the spirometer on the left and exhaled into the spirometer on the right.  Counterweights were added as the left spirometer bell rose above the water level and removed as the right spirometer bell fell.  Originally from: Carl Speck, Physiologies des Menschlichen. Atmens nach eigenen Untersuchungen, 1892.

Exercise Testing with spirometer, 1895


Found on Flickr.  Image from page 180 of “Transactions – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers” (1895)

“Fig. 18 View in Observation Room looking toward south wall. In the upper center ofthe picture is the Body Temperature Recorder. In the lower right corner Is the Bicycle Ergometer, the controlling rheostat being located on the table. At the left is seen a spirometer used to collect and measure exhaled air.”