- Lis·ter bag also Lys·ter bag 'lis-tər-.bag n a canvas water bag used esp. for supplying military troops with chemically purified drinking waterLyster William John Le Hunte (1869-1947)American army surgeon. Lyster had a career as a surgeon in the U.S. Army medical corps. Interested in the field of public health, he began experiments in water purification with the use of sodium hypochlorite. In 1917 he introduced a rubber-lined heavy canvas bag with a tight-fitting cover. A dose of chlorine solution added to the water effected purification within 30 minutes. The Lister bag quickly became a standard piece of army equipment and was used extensively in both world wars.
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