Philip Drinker

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Philip Drinker was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania back in 1894.  He attended St. George School he continued his education at Princeton.  He trained as a chemical engineer at Lehigh for two years.

He was hired by the Harvard Medical School to teach industrial illumination and ventilation, then moved to the Harvard School of Public Health.  He continued to study and wrote textbooks on a variety of topics in industrial hygiene.  During WWII, he directed the industrial hygiene program for the United States Maritime Commission.  After the war, he advised the Atomic Energy Commission.  He retired from Harvard in 1960.  H died in 1972, he was 77.  He was inducted into the US National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

What you may not know about Philip is that the reason he was inducted into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame is because while dealing with an industrial hygiene problem-coal gas poisoning, he invented the iron lung in 1928.  It truly saved a lot of lives for those who suffered from polio in the day.

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Comments (19)

Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Creativity in medical science has got to be one of life's most rewarding accomplishments.

Oct 17, 2019 02:16 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray prior to the polio shot, I remember a few children, who were my age at the time, getting polio.... shortly after Salk created the polio vaccine.... the iron lung was saved many with polio....

Oct 17, 2019 03:18 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi James... the iron lung was, no doubt, a most important invention in the 20th Century.

Oct 17, 2019 03:28 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

And still today they are trying to eradicate polio, I saw a good documentary on Bill Gates who has invested huge amounts of money to wipe out polio. Interesting Philip Drinker was born right here on the Main Line.

Oct 17, 2019 05:02 AM
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Now that was sure a great invention for many folks for such a long time.

Oct 17, 2019 05:12 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. A true life saver for many. A great mind. Enjoy your day!

Oct 17, 2019 05:52 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. Wow, this guy was incredible. such a great read today, thank you.

Oct 17, 2019 06:10 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - some of the marvels in the field of medicine continue to tell us creative thinking is such a real part of that process.  

Oct 17, 2019 06:28 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

The machine I remember reading about, but not the inventor.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Oct 17, 2019 07:01 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray,

What I enjoy is that for a moment, you shine a light on someone we may not have ever heard about but has made a great contribution to society. 

Oct 17, 2019 07:13 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Hmm, I have not heard of the iron lung, I better look it up.  It sounds like a great invention for sure!

Oct 17, 2019 08:03 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - I did not know the Iron Lung was for polio.  I remember one child having polio and she did recover.

Oct 17, 2019 08:33 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

James Dray, I do remember the Iron Lung.  Honestly, even though I am aware that it saved lives, it was one of the most scariest things I have seen in this lifetime.  I do not know how much or to what degree I am claustrophobic, but enough to know the machine scared me.  We are grateful for wonderful inventors who reach out with their inventions and help mankind. 

Oct 17, 2019 10:13 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


The iron lung helped many polio victims.  And I know of two people who survived as a result of this.  A

Oct 17, 2019 11:03 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

James- I remember seeing the news with children on iron lungs and as a child myself - I was scared 

Oct 17, 2019 03:01 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  A wonderful, creative, mind was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame.  Phillip saved so many lives.

Oct 17, 2019 04:43 PM
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Wow, what a life saving invention for everyone.

Oct 19, 2019 08:53 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

God bless Phillip Drinker who invented the iron lung in 1928. 

Oct 19, 2019 08:55 PM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Wow! Good to read about early inventors. While history makes it sound easy, I'm sure they ran into many obstacles along the way.

Nov 15, 2019 04:20 AM