May 22, 1960: UCLA researchers Richard D. Hopa, left, and Hiroshi Kimura demonstrate a new anti-smog device developed for automobiles.
This image accompanied a May 23, 1960, L.A. Times story that reported:
The Board of Supervisors was told yesterday of the development of a new device which sponsors aver will prevent up to 80% of nitrogen oxides, major ingredients of smog, from entering the air when attached to automobiles.
Supervisor Warren M. Dorn, impressed by a report on the smog trap given by Louis J. Fuller, enforcement director of the Air Pollution Control District, urged that descriptions of the mechanism be sent at once to national and state authorities and to automobile industry.
The appliance resulted from research over the last year by an APCD team of Wallace Linville and Yee Sing Yee and by UCLA scientists Richard D. Hopa and Hiroshi Kimura, it was reported by Fuller.
Five months of road testing indicate that the invention could, if put on all cars, keep about 375 tons of nitrogen oxides daily from the Los Angeles atmosphere….
“The device consists of a narrow tube to carry the exhaust gas forward from the tailpipe to the carburetor,” Fuller explained. “At the intake manifold a valve is installed to meter the flow of exhaust gases so that these can mix with the regular air-fuel mixture.”
Introduction of the cooled exhaust gases into the intake system of cars eradicates most of the oxides of nitrogen.
Once refined, this nitrogen oxide control technique, now called exhaust gas recirculation, was introduced in many vehicle engines in the early 1970s.