The beginning of the use of "smelly bombs" or chemical weapons in military operations is associated with the German attack on Iprom in 1915. Then, 170 tons of chlorine were released, up to 15,000 people were injured, about 5,000 soldiers of the French army were killed. With the First World War, the invention of a universal means of protection against chemical weapons, which rightfully belongs to Russia, is also connected. This is Zelinsky's gas mask. The principle of action and activated charcoal from birch protects a generation of Russian soldiers and continues to save lives not only in war, but also in peacetime.
Issues of historical heritage and pioneering are open for today. After all, professor and inventor of gas mask Zelinsky Nikolai Dmitrievich (1861 - 1953) considered it immoral to protect a patent for his invention, because he had developed a method for spraying chloropicrin - one of the poison agents of the imperialist war. And if in the middle of the 20th century the question of the primacy of the gas mask behind the Russian invention (the Zelinsky-Kummant gas mask ) was purely ideological, today it has acquired academic significance. And consider whether the Venetian suit against the plague prototype gas mask issue is purely rhetorical.
History of defense: military and peaceful
There is evidence that the miners of ancient Greece used masks with a filter of dried herbs. Arab brothers Banu Musa, outstanding scientists of Baghdad IV century, to prevent poisoning workers when digging wells. Invented a technical device very similar to a gas mask. It was a sewn mask, with the ability to replace the filter. And although the filter materials were also made from dried herbs, they were quite similar to modern chemical protection.
In the Middle Ages, with the advent of epidemic epidemics of the plague and the development of the doctrine of miasma (a substance hostile to man) and about contagion (toxic particles transmitted through the skin and through breathing), a Venetian antiplague kit appears. It is a cloak and gloves impregnated with tar, and a "beak", inside which were plant filters.
In 1799, Alexander von Humbolt's gas mask appeared, designed for filtration and purification of mine gases and for the protection of miners.
But the first patent for a gas mask was issued to Lewis Haslett in 1849 in Kentucky, USA. A device for miners was designed, a dense fabric of wool served as a filter, and valve breathing was provided.
When gilding the domes of St. Isaac's Cathedral in 1838, 60 masters were killed in St. Petersburg, they were not saved by pipe gas masks. They were made of glass with a hose and should have been protected from mercury vapors. But the design was not sealed, which was the reason for the poisoning of workers.
Coal as adsorbent
John Stengauz in 1854 invented a respirator, in which the main adsorbent was charcoal. It was a two-layer mask, between the layers of which was a sorbent - a powder of charcoal.
Mikhail Lomonosov's associate, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Johann Tobias Lovitz proposed the use of birch charcoal for water purification, protection against rotting meat.
Zelinsky's merit is that he was the first to use activated carbon as an absorber - coal with increased adsorption capacity. Specially prepared coal has up to 1500 square meters. Meters of porous surface per 1 cubic centimeter.
Adsorbent plus airtightness is equal to Zelinsky gas mask
The history of the creation of this chemical protection equipment is associated with another name, rightfully becoming the second in the name of the gas mask - Emond Kummant, a technologist at the Triangle plant.
The British Patent Office issued a patent to Emmond Kummant for the original mask he invented. It is the mask, tightly and tightly fitting to the skin of the face, saved from the slightest ingress of poisonous substances onto the skin.
Positional imperialist war forced the opponents to seek methods of warfare with the use of poisonous substances. The main task was the search for protection, including universal filters and a reliable protective mask. It was such a means of protection that the gas mask in question became.
Zelinsky's gas mask: a structure
They were three prototypes - Petrograd, Moscow and state.
The first, in 1915, went into service with a gas mask prototype Petrograd. The helmet was worn on a rectangular box of a gas mask, which has two bottoms, the size of the box is 200: 80: 50 millimeters. The lower bottom with the neck was closed with a cork stopper, the same neck, but higher, was soldered into the upper one. Between them was a metal net with a layer of gauze on both sides. Between the gauze pads was located 3-6 millimetric granular activated carbon. The filter volume was 700 cubic meters. Centimeters, length - 174 mm. The box was protected by a tin cap. The mask was orange, the box was fastened with braid.
The Moscow model came into service in 1916 and was smaller in size with an oval-shaped box. The volume of the coal filter became 1000 cubic centimeters.
However, approbation showed the need for improvement. And there was a third version of the gas mask Zelinsky - the type of the State gas and gas plant. It was somewhat shorter than the previous, with an elliptical box.
Approbation of the device
In the Russian army, the Zelinsky-Kummant gas mask appeared in the winter of 2016. For two years of the war, Russia has manufactured more than 11 million pieces of these protective equipment.
Approbation of Zelinsky's gas mask took place in the combat conditions of the First World War. The tests were supervised by Nikolai Zilinsky's student Nikolai Shilov. It was he who offered the professor a multilayer charcoal filter. He also has an analytical work to verify the effectiveness of chemical protection in mobile laboratories, as well as the organization of schools for the personnel of the Russian army, where they conducted training in the use of protective equipment - Zelinsky gas mask. History has proven the importance of these schools and the lack of attention to them from the command.
Advantages and disadvantages
The possibility of cleaning air from various poisonous substances and the discovery of an ideal adsorbent are unconditional discoveries made by Professor ND Zelinsky. The gas mask of his invention at the time of its appearance had no analogs for the adsorbent. A new type of filter of this Russian gas mask was not very convenient, but effective.
The first gas mask Zelinsky had his shortcomings. They include the following:
- In the fighting position, the gas mask box prevented the head from turning;
- Before use, there was a need for purging, which slowed the dressing.
- The fogging of glasses, which made orientation difficult;
- Decreased auditory perception and inability to give orders by phone;
- Illiteracy of Russian soldiers who could not read the instruction before use.
Masks of that war
The countries participating in the imperialist war did not stand aside from attempts to improve the means of chemical protection. The French gas mask Jules Tissot, for example, weighed more than four kilograms, the box was located on the back, and the absorbent was a caustic soda mixed with wood wool and metal filings. All this was soaked with soap, glycerin and castor oil.
Today, the prototype of a modern gas mask is considered to be a British gas mask model of the First World War. In appearance, it really looks most like a modern analog. But neither the British, nor the French, nor the Germans used activated carbon as an absorber. Allies of Russia, the British in 1916, asked them to send them five Zelinsky-Kumant gas-masks for study. Chemists in Britain did not believe in the adsorptive properties of birch charcoal. But even after checking the operation of these devices, the allies could not surpass Professor Zelinsky.
It is also interesting that the means of protection were also developed for horses. It looked very interesting.
What did the professor get for his invention
The Chemical Committee of the Russian Empire filed a petition to the Special Meeting on awarding the professor for his invention, which saved thousands of lives. However, the matter did not end with anything. Professor Zelinsky did not receive a single ruble from the Russian government for Zelinsky's gas mask. The history of the professor who did not receive a patent for his unique coal filter, and refused the nomination for the Nobel Prize, was over. But his co-author, the author of the patented mask, E. Kummant concluded an agreement with the Triangle plant and received 50 kopecks for each item sent to the Russian military industrial committee. The mask of Zelinsky was made by Emond Kummant's millionaire.
It is noteworthy that in Russia there is not a single monument to Professor N.D. Zelinsky, although his name is the institute in St.Petersburg.
It is stated that the creation of gas masks began with the introduction of combat chemical agents into service. This is an erroneous statement. First of all, the means of protection were invented for peaceful purposes, and after they were used in the war. The protection of doctors and medical personnel, the use of workers who come into contact with harmful substances to protect workers are the main priorities of any scientific activity.