Story: Industrial design

Respiratory humidifiers

Respiratory humidifiers

This world-leading respiratory humidifier was developed when Dr Matt Spence of Middlemore Hospital worked with Alf Melville at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) to develop a safer way of humidfying air supplied to patients in intensive care. The 1968 ‘proof of concept’ prototype (left) was made with an Agee preserving jar, an aluminium scroll and blotting paper. The project was picked up by home appliance manufacturer Fisher & Paykel. At right is the initial production model with the head of its development team, Dave O'Hare, in 1970. It led the firm to develop a new health-care division, which became a company in its own right in 2001.

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Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

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How to cite this page:

Michael Smythe, 'Industrial design - Innovation under protectionism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 December 2023)

Story by Michael Smythe, published 22 Oct 2014