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Cluny MacPherson (1879 - 1966)
Doctor Cluny MacPherson was born in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1879. He received his medical education from Methodist College and McGill University. MacPherson started the first St. John's Ambulance Brigade after working with the St. John's Ambulance Association.

MacPherson served as the principal medical officer for the first Newfoundland Regiment of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade during W.W.I. In response to the Germans' use of poison gas, MacPherson began researching methods of protection against poison gas and invented the MacPherson respirator or gas mask in 1915.

According to Bernard Ransom, Curator of the Newfoundland Provincial Museum, "Cluny Macpherson designed a fabric 'smoke helmet' with a single exhaling tube, impregnated with chemical sorbents to defeat the airborne chlorine used in the gas attacks. Later, more elaborate sorbent compounds were added to further developments of his helmet (the P and PH models) to defeat other respiratory poison gases used such as phosgene, diphosgene and chloropicrin. The Macpherson helmet was the first general issue gas countermeasure to be used by the British Army."

After suffering from a war injury, MacPherson returned to Newfoundland to serve as the director of the military medical service and later served as the president of the St. John's Clinical Society and the Newfoundland Medical Association. Cluny MacPherson was awarded many honors for his contributions to medical science.

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