The following year there was a polio epidemic in London and Both moved there to work on new patterns for the respirator. The industrialist Viscount Nuffield announced that he would subsidise, to the extent of £500,000, the supply of “Both” respirators to all parts of Britain and the British Empire . His Morris motor works were soon producing them by the thousand, at one-thirteenth the cost of the American design.
When Nuffield was complimented on his generosity, he responded, “All credit must go to Both”. The London magazine Punch quipped, “We respectfully differ; All credit must go to both”. The “Iron lung” at Netley is one of these manufactured in England . It is constructed of plywood and stainless steel and rests on a wheeled frame.
Badges attached to the cabinet read:
"Both Cabinet Respirator
Presented by Viscount Nuffield
and made in UK by Nuffield Organization
to a South Australian design
(ET and DJR Both)."
In 1940 Edward T. Both was awarded an OBE for his work on the “Iron Lung”.
He was a prolific inventor, earning himself the nickname of "The Edison of Australia”. As early as 1935 he had invented the world’s first portable electrocardiograph, which became standard equipment in military hospitals during World War II.
He also invented a device to record the rate of machine-gun fire, and another which instantly detected flaws in gun-barrels.
In 1940 the petrol shortages prompted him to produce the Both electric bread delivery van. It was a three-wheeler, with front wheel drive, and could turn in its own standing-room. Another of Both’s wartime inventions was never to become widely known. It was called “Visitel” - a device that used radio or wires to transmit handwriting or a drawing over any distance while it was being written or drawn. An early “Fax”, it was declared a secret project, so secret in fact that after the end of the war it was never used.
Ted Both also constructed a piece pf apparatus for the SA Museum. John Mitchell, a herpetologist, was engaged in a project investigating the movements of lizards in daylight and darkness. The lizards were kept in a finely balanced cage and exposed to varying periods of light. Both built a battery operated recording machine, with a roll of paper on a drum that was able to accurately trace the lizards’ movements.
There is another coincidental link with the SA Museum. Ted and Don Both were first cousins once removed of Otto and Joe Rau, who were taxidermists to the museum for over 40 years. They were all descendants of Johann Heinrich Both and his wife Juliane, who came to South Australia in 1838, 2 years after the founding of the colony. There are still many descendants of the family living in the Jamestown area and in Adelaide .
In 1952 Ted Both, now living in Sydney, produced the well-known “Davis Cup” scoreboards and in 1956 was responsible for the scoreboard of the Melbourne Olympic Games which contained 10,000 electric light globes.
However the greatest contributions of the Both Laboratories were in the field of medical equipment. In 1953 Don Both, who remained in Adelaide, designed the “Humidicrib” which has since saved thousands of lives. The brothers who continued to work together, also produced the first electro-encephalograph, as well as x-ray equipment, nerve stimulators, foetal heart-recorders, suction units, tomographs, defibrillators, cardioscopes and blood transfusion equipment. All the apparatus was manufactured in the Adelaide workshops of Both Equipment Limited, which relocated to Tavistock Street (now Frome Street ) and later to King William Street in Kent Town .
In all, this was an impressive set of achievements for two Adelaide boys who commenced work at the rear of the South Australian Museum.