A scene in a factory producing iron lungs at the Morris Motor Works

28 Mar 1939
Morris Motor Works, Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Photograph (Print)
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The original caption may contain language which is historic and which may no longer be considered appropriate. It has been retained in the record in the interest of historical accuracy.

The caption on the reverse of the photograph reads: “Iron lungs for Australia. Photo shows:- Work on the production of a consignment of 167 “iron lungs” for Australia proceeding apace at the Morris Motor Works at Cowley, Oxford. It will be remembered that Lord Nuffield, the car magnate, recently undertook to supply every hospital in the British Empire with an “iron lung”.”

The first iron lung in the UK was designed in 1933. In 1937, Australia was facing an epidemic of poliomyelitis, with iron lungs being one of the main methods of treating the illness’s complications. Lord Nuffield, having seen the iron lung in operation, offered part of his factory in Oxford to be taken over for the production of Both respirators, an affordable version of the iron lung. Over 1,700 of these respirators were distributed to hospitals following his offer to provide free iron lungs to any hospital in the Commonwealth that requested one. High-resolution copies of this image are available for free for non-commercial use. Please Enquire to place an order.


This is part of the Series: MED01/01 Series of prints; within the Collection: MED01 The Medical Collection


Source: Historic England Archive

People & Organisations

Photographer: Topical Press Agency Limited

Photographer: Harrison, Norman Kingsley


Factory, Health And Welfare, Industry, People At Work