Researching the history of the iron lung supports BCITS’ desire to provide online access to histories of assistive technologies to their clients, supporters, and the general public. The BCITS Iron Lung History Project was designed and implemented by Claire Forsyth and David Gill, Master of Library and Information Studies students at UBC’s School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies.
They collaborated with Nancy Lear, Peer Network Facilitator and Ruth Marzetti, Executive Director, at BCITS. All images taken during the interviews were provided by Claire & David.
Many people who used the iron lung have passed away and it became clear that this project was time sensitive as new patients would not be fitted with an iron lung as their first respiratory technology any longer.
After considering the individual needs of one of the participants, this project was changed from an oral history to a history project with two oral interviews and one written interview.
This project is meant to document the experiences of iron lung users and medical professionals who worked with them. It is meant to provide an insight into the unique history of assistive technologies in Vancouver.