Tag Archives: Hutchinson

Spirometer, Stoelting, circa 1920


A Hutchinson-style spirometer from Stoelting, a manufacturer and distributor of school supplies.  Identical, except for the nameplate, to spirometers manufactured by the Naragansett Machine Company of RI between 1900 and 1920, Stoelting sold these spirometers from around 1920 to 1940.  At guess, this one is from around 1920. Found on the Dr. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology website.

Spirometer, Stoelting, 1930


From Stoelting, C. H. 1930. Apparatus, Tests and Supplies for Psychology, Psychometry, Psychotechnology, Psychiatry, Neurology, Anthropology, Phonetics, Physiology, and Pharmacology. Chicago.  Page 212.

Described as a “Spirometer, Wet, Hutchinson’s.  Used to measure the total quantity of air that can be forcibly expired after a maximal inspiration.  It is calibrated in cubic decimeters and cubic inches and can be used with either glass or wood mouthpieces.”

The picture looks identical to that used in textbooks from around 1900.  The Hutchinson spirometer lives on virtually unchanged almost 90 years after it was first invented!

Spirometer, Hutchinson Respiration Apparatus, 1911


Human Physiology, Volume 1, By Luigi Luciani, published by Macmillan and Company, 1911, page 422.

“The name tidal air is given to the volume of air which enters and leaves the pulmonary air passages during a normal inspiration and expiration. It can be measured by a well calibrated and graduated glass bell, which Hutchinson (1860) termed a spirometer (Fig. 187). A properly constructed gasometer, which offers minimal resistance to the passage of air can be substituted.”

Spirometer, Hawksley, modified Hutchinson, 1887


From Treatise on human physiology by Henry Cadwalader Chapman, Published by Lea Brothers & Co, 1887, page 430.

“The instrument described by Hutchinson, and somewhat modified by Hawksley for the author, consists (Fig. 246) essentially of a cylindrical vessel (A), with a capacity of about 7.5 liters (2 gal.), containing water, out of which a receiver (B) can be elevated and depressed by breathing into it through a tube (C), and then the height to which the receiver is elevated and depressed, as shown by the scale D indicating the volume of air expired and inspired.  In using the spirometer, it should be placed upon a firm, level table, about three feet from the ground.  The water tap then having been turned off, and the air tap opened, clear, cold water is poured through the spout of the cylindrical vessel A, until it is full, any excess of water running off by the tap in communication with the air tube.  Enough colored spirit is poured into the U-shaped tube, until it stands about 3.5 inches.  The counterpoising weights being then suspended within the framework M, and over the pulleys, and the air tap closed, the instrument is ready for an observation. The person whose breath capacity is to be determined standing erect with head through backward, and loosely attired, applied by the mouth-piece the flexible tube C to his mouth and expires into the spirometer.  The air from his lungs passes thence into tube E, elevating the receiver B, by the volume of air expired, expressed in cubic inches, being shown bu the number of the scale to which the index connected with the receiver has been elevated.  At the termination of the expiratory effort, the air-tap must be closed.