Birthday odities

So it is coming along to that time of year again, being one year older. My service boy Boots knows I like oddities, things which people may have never seen before and items of interest which can strike up a conversation. He even turned up one evening with a hand made wooden mask from his travels in Nepal and often treats me to a kink toy for the play space which is different and fun compared to generic kit bags.


Recently the Verlies has had an upgrade on going the last couple of months for a medical playroom. Medical theme play has been on the agender since the medical play scene at a popular venue in the UK. I have since acquired various medical items and taken a liking to the vintage side. This has lead to a vintage dental chair, medical wooden unit and various accessories to make into the new medical play space. Boots even acquired reprints of certain posters to go on the wall which is a nice touch.


Today he informed me I had an early birthday present in the Verlies. Upon entering I found a bag with a wooden item in it. Turns out it is a Porton resuscitator. I had no clue or thought this even existed and could not have even thought up the contraption which it is and what it was designed for being so simple yet effective.

The box it is kept in is in really good condition and put together using duff tail joints which shows a time of doing things properly and not requiring nails or screws. The front is a glass sheet which slides up for quick access and a label on the bottom stating "Calmic Limited, Industrial medical division - Crewe, England"


It's dimentions are overall box: 254 mm x 188 mm x 173 mm, 1.3kg.

Doing a bit of research online from collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Produced 1950s - 1960s Sold under the trade name ‘Porton’, this resuscitator was for use in factories on people who had stopped breathing. Once the person’s airway and mouth were cleared of any obstruction– including vomit, their tongue or even dentures – the facemask could be placed over the mouth and nose. The presence of such equipment in the workplace shows a dramatic change from previous centuries when the health of workers was of little interest to factory owners.

The instructions on the side of the box recommended pumping 12-16 times a minute and to continue until normal breathing resumed. The instructions warned that this could take up to two hours. Anyone would have been able to use the resuscitator. Today, only those who are specially trained are allowed to give first aid in a factory or other industrial setting.


In 1849 Pfizer was founded by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart , Pfizer made its reputation in America as a bulk chemical manufacturer and enjoyed early success in mass-producing penicillin; in 1953 the organisation establish Pfizer Limited in Kent, England.


I have had a good look at the device and it is well kept, great condition and is still in useable condition. I would have a guess it hardly got used if at all and was on a table in an industrial space such as a mill as some new medical innovation which no one cared to used or even notice. There is a how to use instruction sheet on the side.

And with a bit more of online searching I found a photograph of it being demonstrated.

Overall it is a unique item and will fit nicely with the new medical room on display with a couple other older medical items and will be sure to make a conversation as people enjoy seeing this and the other devices.



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