Alfred (Alf) Melville


Humidifier - Alfred (Alf) Melville

Working at the DSIR, engineer and inventor Alfred (Alf) Melville (b. 1916, d. 2006) created the first prototype for Dr Matthew Spence at Auckland Hospital using an Agee jar borrowed from his wife.

Melville worked out how to construct a wire within the jar that warmed water and air, a system for airflow, and the attachments required to connect it to a patient. It was a breakthrough that the company is rightly proud of, and the original jar is displayed still in their head offices in South Auckland. From this humble beginning has grown New Zealand's largest medical device company, and one of our largest exporters.

It took time and investment from the parent company to ensure the small humidification business lead by F&P engineer Dave O'Hare took off, but after years of investment and R&D, success started to come.