John Hutchinson (surgeon)

John Hutchinson (1811–1861) invented the spirometer, a device for measuring lung capacity.[1] He used this device in evaluating candidates for life insurance while working as a physician to the Brittania Life office.[2] He also theorized that air pollution could lead to poor health. Particularly, he researched the safety of coal mining and the presence of charcoal in miner's lungs.

John Hutchinson
Known forSpirometer
Scientific career

He moved to Australia around 1852, and then later to Fiji where he died as a result of contracting dysentery.


  1. Spriggs, EA; Gandevia, B; Bishop, PJ (June 1976). "Abstract: John Hutchinson (1811-1861) Inventor of the Spirometer". Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine. 69 (6): 450. PMC 1864295. PMID 785478.
  2. Bishop, PJ (October 21, 1977). "A bibliography of John Hutchinson". Medical History. 21: 384–396. doi:10.1017/S0025727300039028. PMC 1082083. PMID 337001.

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