Incomplete Embryos in a Metal Womb

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Children in an iron lung before the advent of the polio vaccination. Many children lived for months in these machines, though not all survived, 1937. courtesy All Proud Americans

“There was a tremendous psychological element at work in all of us in our relationship to the lung. The metal respirator assumed an almost animate personality and became a symbol of protection and security…. We were incomplete embryos in a metal womb.” —Larry Alexander, 1954

http://amhistory.si.edu/polio/howpolio/ironlung.htm