What’s in our Collections? A Self-Contained Self-Rescuer


In our history collections, we have a self-contained self-rescuer, a portable oxygen source for providing breathable air.

The MSA Self-Rescuer Respirator provides emergency respiratory protection against carbon monoxide gas resulting from underground fires or explosions. A one-time- use device for escape purposes only, it provides protection against carbon monoxide in otherwise breathable air.

The container used oxidation to convert toxic air into non-toxic carbon dioxide. The filter unit would remove dust particles from the air as well. 

It was often used in mines in the area. This one was donated to us by relatives of a local coal miner who carried one on his belt throughout his career. Fortunately, this one was never opened, meaning he never had to use it!