The [new] Emerson respirator was completed in May, 1931. It was far superior to the product [invented by Harvard's Robert Drinker]. Instead of a blower it employed a silent leather diaphragm. It was adjustable to any respiration rate. The cost was $1,000, instead of $2,300 or $2,000, the price of the other apparatus . . . It was put in use to save the life of a desperately paralyzed boy, . . .
This dramatic success marked the beginning of Drinker's open hostility. He was bitter at what he evidently felt was an invasion of the respirator market and spoke of legal protection against infringement…
[Appended are] the opinions of a few Warm Springs patients who have themselves been respirator cases.
Wilson Shippee, of Vermont, favors the Drinker. Except for the noise of the old Drinker, he considers both Drinkers superior to the Emerson, partly because of facility in putting on and taking off the neck-collar.
Frances McGoan, of Illinois, prefers the Drinker machine, but says this may be due to a sentimental attachment growing out of a long acquaintance.
John Peters, of Massachusetts, is strongly in favor of the Emerson. He has been in both, and says that the movement of patients in and out is easier, the mechanism is better, and the fact that the Emerson has an auxiliary pump in case of current failure makes it a far better machine.
In closing, the Editor…would like to call attention to the remark of Mr. Griscom's that in case of another epidemic, neither manufacturer alone could be able to supply the demand for respirators, and that healthy competition would stimulate the manufacturers to improve their machines and lower the costs.
Quoted in The Polio Chronicle, by Stewart Griscom, June 1933. Online.