|Born||December 12, 1894
|Died||October 19, 1972
Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
|Significant projects||iron lung|
Family and early life
Drinker's father was railroad man and Lehigh University president Henry Sturgis Drinker; his siblings included lawyer and musicologist Henry Sandwith Drinker, Jr., pathologist Cecil Kent Drinker, businessman James Drinker, and biographer Catherine Drinker Bowen. After graduating from St. George's and Princeton in 1915, Philip Drinker trained as a chemical engineer at Lehigh for two years.
Drinker was hired to teach industrial illumination and ventilation at Harvard Medical School and soon joined his brother Cecil and colleagues Alice Hamilton and David L. Edsall on the faculty of the nascent Harvard School of Public Health in 1921 or 1923. He studied, taught, and wrote textbooks and scholarly works on a variety of topics in industrial hygiene; the iron lung itself was originally designed in response to an industrial hygiene problem—coal gas poisoning—though it would become best known as a life-preserving treatment for polio. Charles Momsen credited Drinker "and his friends" for their assistance with gas-mixture experiments that ultimately made possible the rescue of the survivors of the USS Squalus in 1939. During World War II, Drinker directed the industrial hygiene program for the United States Maritime Commission. After the war, he advised the Atomic Energy Commission.
Drinker served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Industrial Hygiene for over thirty years and, in 1942, as president of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, to which he had belonged since its inception.
- Shaw, LA; Drinker, P (1929). "AN APPARATUS FOR THE PROLONGED ADMINISTRATION OF ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION: I. A Design for Adults and Children". J Clin Invest 7 (2): 229–47. doi:10.1172/JCI100226. PMC 434785. PMID 16693859.
- Shaw, LA; Drinker, P (1929). "AN APPARATUS FOR THE PROLONGED ADMINISTRATION OF ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION: II. A Design for Small Children and Infants with an Appliance for the Administration of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide". J Clin Invest 8 (1): 33–46. doi:10.1172/JCI100253. PMC 424606. PMID 16693884.
- P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science (2011). "Philip Drinker '17". Distinguished Alumni: Great Talents & Bright Minds. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Lehigh University. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- Sherwood, RJ (1973). "Obituaries: Philip Drinker 1894–1972". The Annals of Occupational Hygiene 16 (1): 93–4. doi:10.1093/annhyg/16.1.93. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- Momsen, Charles B. "Rescue and Salvage of U.S.S. Squalus." Lecture delivered to the Harvard Engineering Society on October 6, 1939. Text available online. Accessed March 17, 2007.
- "Philip Drinker." American Industrial Hygiene Association journal. May 1973: 34(5), 179-181. Available online by subscription.
- Sallans, Andrew. "iron lung." online exhibit. University of Virginia, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. 2005. Accessed March 18, 2007.