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Douglas Bag from Everest Expedition 1953

Douglas Bag from Everest Expedition 1953 All other Scientific Instruments
Douglas bag used by Dr Griffith Pugh for the collection of expired air during the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition, rubberized canvas bag manufactured by Siebe Gorman of Chessington, Surrey, 3 metal D-rings attached to applied canvas patches, main wide-bore rubber tube at head with small-bore side tube, faint 'Tested' inkstamp, fragment of manufacturer's printed label (now detached), bag dimensions when inflated 600 x 620 x 460mm.

Griffith Pugh (1909-1994) was a physiologist and mountaineer who studied medicine at Oxford. One of his professors there, Claude Gordon Douglas, invented a rubberized canvas bag for collecting exhaled breath that could then be analysed.

In 1952, thanks to his position on the High Altitude Committee of the Medical Research Council, Pugh joined the attempt on Cho Oyu (26,864 ft), and explored whether the performance advantage of climbing with oxygen offsets the additional weight of the apparatus involved. Douglas bags played a key part in these tests (Tuckey, Everest... The Untold Story of Griffith Pugh, 2013, p.72). Pugh struck on the perfect 'recipe' for oxygen delivery, an open-circuit system delivering 2-4 litres a minute of oxygen.

Pugh was appointed expedition physiologist on the successful 1953 British Everest expedition, and saw his oxygen recipe deliver Hillary and Tenzing to the summit of Mount Everest. In his report on the "technique employed for measuring respiratory exchanges on Mount Everest", Pugh lists amongst the apparatus "Douglas bags of 100, 200 and 300 l. capacity" (Proceedings of the Physiological Society, 18-19 December 1953, supplement to vol. 123 of the Journal of Physiology).

Provenance: Dr Griffith Pugh (1909-1994), field physiologist on Hillary's 1953 British Mount Everest expedition gifted to his friend Emeritus Professor A.J. Sargeant in the early 1970s when they worked together at the Medical Research Council, London, provenance note signed by Sargeant.
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£1500.00  UK
$2092.05  USA
1698.15  EU
  Euro & Dollar conversion rates as of 15/MAR/2018
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CategoryScientific Antiques / All other Scientific Instruments Date1953  1950s Antiques OriginEnglish Item codeac001a422

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Kim AntiquesPrivate Dealer
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North West England

Tel : 07930021900

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Douglas Bag from Everest Expedition 1953




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