A sepia photograph showing male and female staff using an 'inhalatorium' at the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory in Abbotsford.
The inhalatorium was used to protect workers from being infected with the influenza during the 1919 Spanish flu epidemic. Ten people could be accommodated on each side of the structure, from which steam carrying sulphate of zinc solution was sprayed onto the worker's faces. Once breathed in it was thought that the steam solution would 'disinfect' the workers' throats and air passages. Staff were given this treatment twice a day for four minutes at a time, and were advised to take about 15 slow, deep breaths.
This object is part of the Kodak collection of products, promotional materials, photographs and working life artefacts collected from Kodak Australasia in 2005, when the Melbourne manufacturing plant at Coburg closed down.
Kodak manufactured and distributed a wide range of photographic products to Australasia, such as film, paper, chemicals, cameras and miscellaneous equipment. Its client base included amateur and professional photographers, as well as specialist medical and graphic art professionals who used photography, x-ray and other imaging techniques.
Description of Content
A sepia photograph of women leaning over and placing their faces into oval-shaped holes in a piece of machinery. There is a line of men in the background.
A sepia, portrait photograph with a thin white border.
Donation from Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Ms. Kate Metcalf - Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd, 2005
Courtesy of Kodak (Australasia) Pty Ltd.
Date of Event
Written on a sign on the inhalatorium within photo content: 'Place the Nose, Mouth and Eyes / In one of the Openings Take about / Fifteen very slow deep breaths, some [indecipherable] ugh the Nose, and some through / Mouth'
Type of item
157 mm (Width), 116 mm (Height)
Photography, Staff, Spanish Influenza, Influenza, Influenza Epidemic, 1919, Occupational Health & Safety, Medical Apparatus & Instruments, Manufacturing, Manufacturing Workers, Factories, Disinfectants