This first stamp from Switzerland, 1969 covers several safety and PPE items: industrial and foundry safety, hard hat, gloves, safety goggles, safety apron, remote handling tool. Next is a stamp from GDR, 1971 that shows a key benefit from wearing a hard hat: protection from falling objects. This issue was part of the accident prevention series that also featured: fire safety, fall protection, safety guard, electrical safety, foot protection, traffic safety, lifting safety, manhole cover and safety barrier.
Perhaps my first encounter and use of PPE was in high school during sciences courses in biology, chemistry and physics. The lab sessions required use of lab coats, safety goggles and often gloves. When I went to work in the radiology department at the regional medical center, the lab coat and gloves became routine and I received my initial radiation exposure monitoring device (film badge) from Landauer around 1974-1975 (even before I was 18 [anyone remember 5x(N-18)]?).
Where I work at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the working environment is quite dynamic and demanding at times. There is a 20 MW research nuclear reactor that supplies neutrons for neutron measurement and detection capabilities for the U.S. research community. Since I started working here in 2008 the facility has doubled in size, added 8 major neutron instrument stations and plans in the works for several more. During both routine and maintenance operations, the utilization of safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) is standard practice. At the NCNR, safety is about how we do our work. One thing that is constant at our facility is change. Of the typical safety equipment and PPE available and in use in today’s work environment, most of these if not all, are used at our facility. Among the stamp issuing countries of the world, there is a great variety of safety equipment and PPE depicted on stamps. The list of safety equipment and PPE that I found on stamps includes (from head to toe): head protection; lifting safety; eye protection; welding safety; respirator, bubble hood; hand, cut protection; foot protection; fall protection, manhole cover; labcoat, gloves; electrical safety; seat belts; health monitoring, medical surveillance (ergonomics, audiology, urinalysis); and glove box.
Ephraim McDowell, an American physician and pioneer surgeon. The first person to successfully remove an ovarian tumor, he has been called “the father of ovariotomy” as well as founding father of abdominal surgery and in particular lithotomy (kidney stone removal).
Harvey W. Wiley, Chemist, known as the “Father of the FDA”.
Chester Carlson, an American physicist, inventor, and patent attorney. He is best known for having invented the process of electrophotography and was subsequently renamed xerography. So if you have ever made a Xerox copy, you can thank Carlson.
Harvey Cushing, an American neurosurgeon. A pioneer of brain surgery, he was the first person to describe Cushing’s disease. He is often called the father of modern neurosurgery.
Ivan Puluj, Ivan Pavlovich Puluj, a Ukrainian-born physicist and inventor who was an early developer of the use of X-rays for medical imaging. Puluj did heavy research into cathode rays, publishing several papers about it between 1880 and 1882. As a result of experiments into what he called cold light Puluj developed the Puluj lamp which was mass-produced for some time. This device was also a primitive X-ray tube. He was among the first who worked with X-Rays and used them for medical diagnostics. Puluj is often referred to as the Röntgen of Ukraine and in some circles he is credited with the discovery of X-rays. Along the same thread to uncover developers in the medical sciences I came upon this stamp of radiologist Ivan Pavlovich Puluj. Once again, all research on Puluj revealed documents in Russian that I had to translate to publish a biographical article online.
Emil Theodor Kocher, a Swiss physician and medical researcher who received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid. Among his many accomplishments are the introduction and promotion of aseptic surgery and scientific methods in surgery, specifically reducing the mortality of thyroidectomies below 1% in his operations.
Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a Spanish pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist and Nobel laureate. His original pioneering investigations of the microscopic structure of the brain have led him to be designated by many as the father of modern neuroscience. His medical artistry was legendary, and hundreds of his drawings illustrating the delicate arborizations of brain cells are still in use for educational and training purposes.
Allan MacLeod Cormack, a South African American physicist who won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (along with Godfrey Hounsfield) for his work on X-ray computed tomography (CT).