When I was little my sister and I got a hand-me-down set of the Golden Book Encyclopedia that were printed circa 1960. These things fascinated me mainly because of the illustrations. I don't think I ever bothered to actually read any of the articles. (Kinda like how most guys read Playboy, except I actually read the articles in there. Hell, I used to sneak out my dad's old copies from the early 70's to look at naked girls and end up getting engrossed in articles about Watergate.)
One of my favorite illustrations in these encyclopedias was for the iron lung. Why I don't know, but I loved the iron lung with the kid in it. I didn't know what an iron lung was, but it seemed like it would be really nice to be in one. I imagined it would be comfortable, warm, and secure.