|Stern's Inhaler (3)|
There were many methods available, some of which I will mention here. Although please note that these are but a few samples. If you had trouble enough with your breathing, you could get quite creative in seeking a remedy or cure.
1. Hippocratic Inhaler (400 B.C.): It wasn't called an inhaler back then, and may not even have been used for asthma. The model basically consisted of a jar with a hole in the lid. The steam itself may have been palliative, although adding certain balsamics or resinic substances may have added an additional benefit for various symptoms of lung disorders. Eggshells or a sponge may be placed between the patient's mouth and reed t prevent scolding. You can read more about this inhaler here.
|Inhalation Of Hot-water Vapor With The Use Of Pitcher And Towel|
4. Wine Bottle or jug: Another simple method mentioned by Dr. Scutter is to simply place a wine bottle "partly filled with hotwater" near your face and inhale the vapors as they pass from "the mouth of the bottle." Another idea would be to insert a sponge into the bottom of a wide wine bottle and insert the water and medication onto the sponge. You could use the sponge or wine bottle method, or a combination, and place a towel over your head for the full steam effect. You could basically play around with these ideas until you found something that worked for you. I remember my grandma turning on the hot water in the bathroom sink, having me set my head up close, and placing a towel over my head. It never really worked, and there was no medicine involved, although it made her feel like she was helping.
|Dr. Mudge's Inhaler|
6. Dr. Mudge's Patented Inhaler (1778): It's another design based on the Hippocratic model, and it's the first inhaler to allow both inhalation and exhalation through the inhaler. Mudge was also the first to use the term "inhaler," and because Dr. Stern wasn't respected by the medical community, is given credit as the inventor of the inhaler. Dr. Mudge describes this inhaler well in his book. To learn more about this inhaler click here.
|Flask inhaler (2)|
|Tin cup inhaler (2)|
|Wolfe-Bottle Inhaler (1)|
|Mackenzie's Eclectic Inhaler (1)|
|Mandl Inhaler (1)|
As you look into old physician's books and medical equipment magazines for the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries you'll find many other designs for steam inhalers, although the basic design is similar to the ones described here.
- Cohen, Jacob Solis, "Inhalation in the treatment of disease: it's therapeutics and practice," 1876, Philadelphia, Lindsay and Blakiston
- Scudder, John Milton, " On the use of medicated Inhalations in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory organs," 1867, Cincinnati, 2nd edition, Moor, Wilstach, and Baldwin
- Sander, Mark, "Inhalatorium.com," page 41, http://inhalatorium.com/page41.html, accessed on 9/27/12
- Tissier,Paul Lewis Alexandre, edited by Solomon Solis Cohen, "Pneumotherapy: Including Aerotherapy and inhalation methods," volume X, 1903, Philadelphia, P. Blakiston's Sons and Co., pages 353-