The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.An interest in the methods of artificial respiration has long persisted, stimulated by attempts at resuscitation of drowning victims.
Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.
Desmond Clark (1979) wrote that were it not for radiocarbon dating, "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation" (Clark, 1979:7).
Writing of the European Upper Palaeolithic, Movius (1960) concluded that "time alone is the lens that can throw it into focus".
This led to the Drinker-Shaw iron lung in 1928, which was the first widely used negative-pressure ventilator.
In 1931, Emerson modified these large devices, and the Emerson tank ventilator became the standard for ventilatory support.