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Photo Flashback Week, Day 1

I'm on vacation this week but before I left I dipped into The Post's photo archive. I've selected old photos of Washington, not of politicians but of the people who lived and worked here.

The photographs don't tell a story. I just find them neat to look at. Like this one:

xfiremasks.jpg

Sadly, the caption information is missing. (Provide your own in the Comments section below!) I can tell you this picture was filed with photos of the D.C. Fire Department. I believe it 's from the 1930s and shows firemen being trained to use (oxygen?) masks.

Check back tomorrow for another photo.

By John Kelly  |  August 3, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Photos of Washington  
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Next: Photo Flashback Week, Day 2

Comments

Oxygen masks? No.

At first I thought they might be rebreathers. Rebreathers take expelled CO2 and scrub the carbon out (simplistic explanation)and return oxygen. Such units have been used in the early 1900's. However, rebreathers require; two hoses attached to the canisters and masks, and at least a small oxygen cylinder.

As these masks and canisters appear to have only one hose they are likely only filtration units. Probably not very useful in a fire where most of the oxygen is being consumed by combustion. Note that modern firefighters now use a large oxygen cylinder to provide breathable air. If they could reliably use something smaller they probably would.

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | August 3, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Just to clarify -- firefighters have air cylinders. Fire requires heat, fuel and oxygen to exist. We wouldn't carry a bottle of oxygen into a fire anymore than we would a can of gasoline. But we'll definitely wear our SCBA's (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus)

In fact part of the Apollo 1 problem was the 100% oxygen environment.

Posted by: capecodner424 | August 4, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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