Library Collections: Document: Full Text

Paralysis And Profits

Creator: Stewart Griscom (author)
Date: June 1933
Publication: The Polio Chronicle
Source: Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation Archives
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 1  Figure 4

Previous Page     All Pages 


The value of Emerson's machine is unquestioned . . . It has been officially accepted by the Council on Physical Therapy of the American Medical Association ... As for price, the Emerson device has always sold for at least $500 less than the Drinker apparatus.


Although the Collins attorneys announced that "unlike many patent suits in which the maintenance of royalties is a chief point at issue, it is stated that the present suit is being prosecuted solely in the interests of public safety," they have recently sought a settlement under which Emerson would pay a 10% royalty on the sale price of each machine and agree to a price-fixing arrangement. It is hard to see how the interest of the public would be served by such an agreement.


Another practical consideration . . . is the opinion of various authorities on poliomyelitis that both Collins and Emerson should continue to manufacture. In the event of a serious epidemic of infantile paralysis, they say, it would be impossible for either concern to produce all the apparatus which might be required. Healthy competition, furthermore, usually stimulates the development of improvements.


In reprinting these parts of Mr. Griscom's interesting article, we wish to append 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, who has been subjected only to the efforts of the boys trying Schaefer Artificial Respiration, 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.

Previous Page   [END]

Pages:  1  2    All Pages