On the rise: Growing use of higher pressure, lighter weight medical cylinders


Clinical use of oxygen dates back to the late eighteenth century in France and England. The first low-pressure oxygen-storage cylinders, made of iron and brass, appeared in Europe in the late 1860s for use in general anaesthesia and later in oxygen therapy.

In 1885, US physician Dr. George Holzapple gained international fame when he used oxygen to help save the life of a 16-year-old boy suffering from acute pneumonia.

Major advancements in oxygen containment occurred during World War I (1914-1918), and military aviation and chemical warfare were important technological drivers. Germany pioneered the use of iron containers that provided compressed oxygen to crews of high-flying Zeppelins. Oxygen therapy became a crucial treatment for soldiers injured by inhaling mustard gas, phosphene and other chemical agents.

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