‘Life in the Lung’ photo exhibit opens at Melnick Museum

This is one historic photo part of the Iron Lung photo exhibit on display at the Melnick Museum in Youngstown, Ohio, for the 2012 YSU Summer Festival of the Arts.

This is one of the photos that is part of the "Life in the Lung" exhibit at the Rose Melnick Museum at YSU. In this photo, Calvin Leonard leans over to pose with his polio-stricken bride, Margaret Schreiber, following their wedding. Margaret, paralyzed from the neck down for eight years, wears a portable respirator. They met in the hospital where Margaret was a patient and Calvin was a volunteer worker.

“Life in the Lung,” a new exhibit at the Rose Melnick Museum at Youngstown State University, opens July 6 and runs through Aug. 17.

The exhibit, which will be open during the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts, features 20 photographs of patients in respirators, many in Iron Lungs. The photographs range from 1930 to 1959, when polio was at its peak in the United States and respirators were just coming into use. Most of the photographs will be accompanied by their original captions.

The photographs were loaned to the museum by Steve DeGenaro of Poland, Ohio, a graduate of YSU’s respiratory care program, who collects historical medical photography.

Among the items in the Melnick Museum is a bright yellow Iron Lung from the early 1950s.

The museum at 655 Wick Ave. will be open during the YSU Summer Festival of the Arts – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 7, and 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 8. Otherwise, the museum is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays by appointment. Call 330-941-4662 or email clnespor@ysu.edu to make an appointment. Admission is free.