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Museum catalogue: Antarctic Collection


Face mask


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Accession no.: Y: 59/8/4/7a-c
Object name: Face mask
Title: Face mask
Description: A rubber face mask (a), marked 'Ralph' (Ralph Anthony Lenton), with a separate head strap (b) in a cardboard box (c). From the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 and part of a sledging box (Y: 59/8/4/1) containing integrating motor pneumotachograph (IMP) equipment, used for determining energy expenditure by analysing expired air to calculate oxygen consumption.
Classified name:
SPRI theme health
Current place name Antarctic regions
UDC 612
Geographic UDC (*7)
Getty AAT
Number of items: 3
Full description:

a: A modified RAF H-type green rubber face mask. The cheeks of the face mask are lined with chamois leather. It has five spring-loaded inlet valves (three with metal and plastic fittings and two with black plastic fittings on the outside, and all with black plastic plugs on the inside), so placed that the inspired air blows over the nose and mouth. There is a hole at the bottom of the mask to take a tube to connect the face mask to the flowmeter, moulded 'DETACH TUBE HERE'. The face masks were available in three sizes – the rubber on this one is moulded 'MEDIUM'. Handwritten in pen on the front of the mask is the name 'RALPH' (Ralph Anthony Lenton). Grey textile webbing straps pass through rubber loops on the front of the facemask and are secured with safety pins; these are attached to fittings for the head strap. The head strap (b) would be attached to one side of the face mask with a metal hook and to the other with two metal poppers on a piece of leather.

b: The head strap is made of beige textile webbing and has a metal adjustor. It has a metal hook at one end and two metal poppers backed with leather at the other for attaching to the sides of the face mask.

c: A square brown cardboard box base, fixed together with metal staples. The box has no lid.

  • a: Width: 102mm, height: 130mm, depth: 83mm
  • b: Height: 155mm, length: 340mm
  • c: Width: 112mm, height: 95mm, length: 123mm
Associated person(s):
  • Used by: Lenton, Ralph Anthony (1955 - 1958)
Associated expedition(s):
  • Used on: Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58 (1955 - 1958)
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