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& Susan A. Drinker
like all of the houses on Lowell Road with the exception of the
pre-development 8-10 and 12-14 Lowell, was built by Maurice Dunlavy
and designed by Royal Barry Wills.
residents of 11 Lowell Road were Philip and Susan Drinker and their
family. The Drinkers, who were listed at 128 Gardner Road in 1926
when that former barn was still owned by the Blake family, were
listed here from 1929 to 1934.
Drinker (1894-1972) the co-inventor of the iron lung, was a professor
of industrial hygiene at the Harvard School of Public Health. Son
of a former president of Lehigh University, Drinker graduated from
Lehigh in 1917 and began teaching at Harvard in 1921. In 1928, working
with his brother Cecil (later dean of the Harvard School of Public
Health) and fellow professor Louis Agassiz Shaw, he developed the
artificial breathing machine and first used it on an eight-year
old girl at Boston's Children's Hospital.
chance soon came," according to a biography of Drinker in Science
and Its Times, "when Barret Hoyt, a Harvard senior, was
dying from polio because his lungs were paralyzed."
student's physician [the account continued] begged Drinker to
bring the machine to the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. The big
machine would not fit in a taxi, and they had no time to get a
truck. They finally tied the iron lung to the top of the cab and
made it to the hospital just before the patient arrived. Hoyt
was barely breathing, but the machine forced air in and out of
his lungs for four weeks. The "iron lung" never faltered
and immediately became standard equipment to help people not only
with polio, but with all types of respiratory failure, including
gas poisoning and acute alcoholism. The iron lung became known
as the "Drinker Respirator."
was credited with saving hundreds of lives and was particularly
valuable prior to the introduction of the Salk vaccine for polio
in 1955. In addition to his work on the iron lung, Drinker did pioneering
work on occupational medicine, air pollution, and bioengineering.
He died in 1972.
(1899-1997) was born in Rhode Island and married Philip Drinker
c1925. In the 1930 U.S. Census, the residents of the house were
listed as: Phillip Drinker, 35, professor (education); Susan A.
Drinker, 30; Susan G. Drinker, 2; and Mary E. Drinker, <1; plus
two servants, Sadie F. McLeod, 44, nurse, born Canada, and Jeane
Crowel, 28, cook, born Canada. The house was valued at $20,000.
the Drinkers at 11 Lowell Road was the family of Harold and Marie
Coughlin, listed here in the Street List from 1935 to 1941. Harold
Coughlin was a cotton salesman.
owners of this house, living here for nearly 60 years, were Helen
and Aryeh "Dick" Friedman. Dick Friedman (1904-1999) was
in the real estate business for many years and was town assessor
for Brookline from 1965 to 1975.
Friedman (1909-2002) was born in Buffalo and came to Boston to attend
Simmons College, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees
in social work. A social worker for more than 40 years, she worked
for several local agencies, including Boston Family Services, the
Boston Association for Retarded Children, the New England Memorial
Society, and the Florence Crittenton Hastings House.
had four children. Their son Dick, who followed his father into
the real estate business, is the developer of the Charles Hotel
in Cambridge, the Marriott Courtyard in Coolidge Corner, and other