Key Focus

  • It could be constructed by hand out of materials that were cheap and in ready supply. Between January and February of 1911, mask production ramped up to unknown numbers. Medical staff wore them, soldiers wore them, and some everyday people wore them, too.
  • Lynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history.
    He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness
  • Not only did that help thwart the spread of the plague; the masks became a symbol of modern medical science looking an epidemic right in the eye.
    Wu's mask quickly became an icon through international newspaper reports


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Knowledge Graph(Read more)

Complex Event Analysis(Read more)


High Level Topics

  • RESPIRATOR
  • N95
  • MASK
  • LYNTERIS
  • High Level Abstractions

  • RESPIRATOR(4, 0 Order)
  • ( RESPIRATOR )(4, 0 Order)  top
  • N95(4, 0 Order)
  • ( N95 )(4, 0 Order)  top
  • MASK(6, 0 Order)
  • ( MASK )(6, 0 Order)  top
  • ( MASK, MEDICAL )(3, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, UNIVERSITY )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, SOCIAL_ANTHROPOLOGY )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, SECURELY )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, SCIENCE )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, RENAISSANCE-ERA )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, PAINTINGS )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, NOSES )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, LYNTERIS )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, INHALATIONS )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, IMPROVISED )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • ( MASK, HEARTIER )(1, 1st Order)  top
  • LYNTERIS(4, 0 Order)
  • ( LYNTERIS )(4, 0 Order)  top
  • References

    • ( RESPIRATOR )  top
    • (Read more)   top They were (and are) used to prevent doctors from coughing or sneezing droplets onto wounds during surgery. This distinction between a mask and a respirator is important. It's why healthcare professionals are upset that they're being instructed to wear surgical masks when respirators are unavailable
    • (Read more)   top By the 1950s, scientists began to understand the dangers of inhaling asbestos, but people working with asbestos preferred not to wear bulky respirator masks. Imagine working in construction in 85-degree heat and having your head wrapped in rubber to protect yourself from an invisible threat. So in the 1970s, the Bureau of Mines and the National Institute...
    • (Read more)   top... Even still, respirators are rarely used in hospitals to this day because it's only outbreaks like COVID-19 that necessitate so much protection. As Lynteris and many others point out, the respirator never really faded from significance in China
    • (Read more)   top ... the SARS outbreak, people in China wore facial protection to prevent the spread of illness. Then as pollution took over cities like Beijing, they wore respirators to filter pollution. The N95 respirator isn't perfect. It isn't designed to seal well to the face of children or those with facial hair, and if it doesn't seal, it doesn't work as advertised
    • ( N95 )  top
    • (Read more)   top ... industry to prevent black lung. "All the respirators were these giant, gas mask-looking things," says Nikki McCullough, an occupational health and safety leader at 3M, which manufactures N95 respirators. "You'd wash them out at night and you could wear them again. " This equipment saved lives, but it was burdensome, and a large reason why were the filters
    • (Read more)   top ... 1970s, the Bureau of Mines and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health teamed up on creating the first criteria for what they called "single use respirators."The first single-use N95 "dust" respirator as we know it was developed by 3M, according to the company, and approved on May 25, 1972
    • (Read more)   top Then as pollution took over cities like Beijing, they wore respirators to filter pollution. The N95 respirator isn't perfect. It isn't designed to seal well to the face of children or those with facial hair, and if it doesn't seal, it doesn't work as advertised
    • (Read more)   top That evolution will only continue through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. McCullough says that 3M is constantly reevaluating the N95 respirator, tweaking everything from its filters to its ergonomics. "My mom would say they look pretty much the same as in 1972 , but we want them to look simple so they're easy and intuitive...
    • ( MASK )  top
    • ( MASK, MEDICAL )  top
    • (Read more)   topLynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history.
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness
    • (Read more)   topIt could be constructed by hand out of materials that were cheap and in ready supply. Between January and February of 1911, mask production ramped up to unknown numbers. Medical staff wore them, soldiers wore them, and some everyday people wore them, too.
    • (Read more)   topNot only did that help thwart the spread of the plague; the masks became a symbol of modern medical science looking an epidemic right in the eye.
      Wu's mask quickly became an icon through international newspaper reports
    • ( MASK, UNIVERSITY )  top
    • (Read more)   top... viruses could float through the air and make us sick.people improvised masks to cover their faces, says Christos Lynteris. Lynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history.
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness
    • ( MASK, SOCIAL_ANTHROPOLOGY )  top
    • (Read more)   top... understood that bacteria and viruses could float through the air and make us sick.people improvised masks to cover their faces, says Christos Lynteris. Lynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history.
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness
    • ( MASK, SECURELY )  top
    • (Read more)   top
      Expanding upon the surgery masks he'd seen in the West, Wu developed a heartier mask from gauze and cotton, which wrapped securely around one's face and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations.
    • ( MASK, SCIENCE )  top
    • (Read more)   topNot only did that help thwart the spread of the plague; the masks became a symbol of modern medical science looking an epidemic right in the eye.
      Wu's mask quickly became an icon through international newspaper reports
    • ( MASK, RENAISSANCE-ERA )  top
    • (Read more)   top
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness.
    • ( MASK, PAINTINGS )  top
    • (Read more)   top
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness.
    • ( MASK, NOSES )  top
    • (Read more)   top
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people cover their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid illness.
    • ( MASK, LYNTERIS )  top
    • (Read more)   top. Lynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history.
      He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people...
    • ( MASK, INHALATIONS )  top
    • (Read more)   top
      Expanding upon the surgery masks he'd seen in the West, Wu developed a heartier mask from gauze and cotton, which wrapped securely around one's face and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations.
    • ( MASK, IMPROVISED )  top
    • (Read more)   top.people improvised masks to cover their faces, says Christos Lynteris. Lynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history.
      He...
    • ( MASK, HEARTIER )  top
    • (Read more)   top
      Expanding upon the surgery masks he'd seen in the West, Wu developed a heartier mask from gauze and cotton, which wrapped securely around one's face and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations
    • ( LYNTERIS )  top
    • (Read more)   top... known. Going back even further.long before we understood that bacteria and viruses could float through the air and make us sick.people improvised masks to cover their faces, says Christos Lynteris. Lynteris is a senior lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews, who is an expert in medical mask history. He points to Renaissance-era paintings where people...
    • (Read more)   top ... people handling bodies with cloth around their faces, even though the plague was spread by the bites of fleas that traveled on rats. "It was not meant to be against the contagion," says Lynteris of the practice. "The reason these people were wearing cloth around their mouths and noses was, at the time, they generally believed diseases like the plague were miasma, or gases emanating from...
    • (Read more)   top ... themselves from the smell of the plague, they'd be protected from the plague itself. "The stench causes disease. This thought continued all the way to the early 19th century," says Lynteris. (It's worth noting that, 200 years later, a French physician named Antoine Barthelemy Clot-Bey argued that the bird-like plague masks themselves were responsible for the spread of the plague because...
    • (Read more)   topIn a plague that quickly attracted international attention and doctors from around the world, he was "completely unimportant," according to Lynteris. But after conducting an autopsy on one of the victims, Wu determined that the plague was not spread by fleas, as many suspected, but through the air. Expanding upon the surgery masks he'd...