Photographed from the right front, this photograph depicts an opened Emerson respirator, also known as an iron lung, which was used by polio patients whose ability to breath was paralyzed due to this crippling viral disease. This interior view enables you to see the mattress, upon which a polio patient would lay when enclosed. This particular iron lung was donated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC), David J. Sencer Museum, by the family of polio patient Mr. Barton Hebert of Covington, Louisiana, Mr. Covington used the device from the late 1950s, until his death in 2003. Iron lungs encase the thoracic cavity externally in an airtight chamber. The chamber is used to create a negative pressure around the thoracic cavity, thereby, causing air to rush into the lungs, thereby, equalizing intrapulmonary pressure with that exterior to the body.