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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Oxygen Concentrator  
  Gathers oxygen from a thin atmosphere until it is breathable, supporting life.  

As far as I know, the oxygen concentrator technology didn't become popular until the 1970's. This is an extension of the idea of a hyperbaric chamber, which dates from the early 1900's.

He had an airsuit designed for Martian conditions, with a small pump operated by a power-beam from the boat to compress the atmosphere sufficiently for him to breathe it. The same unit recovered enough water from his breath so that the weight of supplies for several days was, in Martian gravity, not too great for him to bear. He had a .45 rifle built to shoot in Martian air, that was heavy enough for his purposes.
From Duel on Syrtis, by Poul Anderson.
Published by Planet Stories in 1951
Additional resources -

Compare to the oxygen hip flask from Earth (1990) by David Brin.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Duel on Syrtis
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