Tuesday, August 20, 2013

1654: Bennet describes the inhaler

The Bennett Inhaler (3)
While the inhaler isn't invented until the 19th century by Dr. Stern and Dr. Mudge, Dr. Christopher Bennett (1617-1655) is the first to draw up an illustration of an inhaler for the medical community in his book "Theatri Tabidorum," that was published in 1654.  His was essentially the first method of inhaling medicine aside from primitive methods such as inhaling smoke from a pipe.  (1, page 173)

Bennett was an English physician who had tuberculosis.  He "gave us four woodcut drawings of an inhalation device, with measurements enabling the reader to have their own inhaler made.  The treatment was balsam.  There is no evidence that Bennett's inhaler was ever manufactured.  Bennett succumbed to tuberculosis the following year."  (2, page 530)

He was only 38 when he died.  (3)

  1. Korting, Monika Schafer, editor, "Drug Delivery," 2010, Germany, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
  2. Smyth, Hugh D.C, Anthony J. Hickey, "Controlled Pulmonary Drug Delivery," 2100, Springer New York Dordrecht Heidelberg London
  3. Sanders, Mark, "Bennett's Inhaler,"  http://www.inhalatorium.com/page162.html, the picture is also compliments of Sanders.  

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