Factory producing iron lungs, Morris Motor Works, Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxfordshire

Factory producing iron lungs, Morris Motor Works, Hollow Way, Cowley, Oxfordshire
Photograph taken 28 March 1939 © Source: Historic England Archive ref: med01_01_0323

Men working on the production of a consignment of 167 iron lungs for hospitals in Australia. The first iron lung in the UK was designed in 1933. In 1937, Australia was facing an epidemic of poliomyelitis (Polio), with iron lungs being one of the main methods of treating the illness’s complications. Lord Nuffield, a car manufacturer, having seen the iron lung in operation, offered part of his factory in Oxford to be taken over for the production of '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.

Location

Oxfordshire Cowley

Period

World War Two (1939 - 1945)

Themes

Tags

medicine health people men factory industry