Donald Eddy Cummings was a chemical engineer who served as the field director for the Saranac Laboratory; he appears in several photos of work in the lab. He taught physics and chemistry for a while in the Saranac Lake High School.

The following quotes are from They Rebuild Men by Eleanor Dayton. Partial transcription from a partial photocopy, page 10, source unknown, apparently 1941.

"They're the staff of the Saranac Laboratory. Desiring to take their place in the world despite the handicap of tuberculosis, they have become research workers, whose honest and often spectacular attainments are internationally known.

"They are quietly at work on the research problem of tuberculosis and of silicosis and other dust diseases. They are quietly proving, also, though they're unaware of it, that Saranac Lake is an A-No. 1 spot for rehabilitation of the patient.

"They've all had tuberculosis. They're united in their interest in its care and cure. Not doctors of medicine, they all see in laboratory work a way of further defeating a disease which each day, through their efforts, grows less formidable.

"They're largely self-taught, though as one learns his profession, he gives his help to the next. . . .

"It’s an interesting staff. There’s Donald E. Cummings, now field director for the lab. He is a graduate of West Point, and of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He’s a chemical engineer, and after the doctors told him to come to Saranac Lake, he taught physics and chemistry for a while in the local high school.

"Dr. Gardner says he persuaded him to help him with a problem in physics and chemistry. Mr. Cummings then became interested in putting his own knowledge to work, and with Dr. Gardner’s reluctant permission (he says he was afraid it wouldn’t work), organized the laboratory’s field division.

"He first tackled the iron ore problem in Montreal, Wis. There he began a survey which soon had all industry gaping. He installed methods of prevention of the dread silicosis, then taking a terrible toll of life, and shortly had 40 [? illegible] firms, in the Lake Superior district, subscribing to his theories.

"Since then the Inland Steel plant at Indiana Harbor, owners of coal mines in the West Virginia section, and owners of quarries all over the United States have subscribed to the idea that silicosis as the Saranac Laboratory staff deals with it, need not be considered as dread a disease as they once regarded it."

"Many will recall that Don Cummings (Industrial Hygiene Engineer to the Saranac Laboratory) met his death in an airplane accident a very few miles from my point of practice. Dr. Leroy Gardner had called me early that morning about 6:30 and told me it had been reported to him that the plane was lost. Don had left Salt Lake City to go to Las Vegas. I spent the entire day in the search, and it happened that I was one of the first persons to arrive at the scene of the accident, and I helped to remove Don's body. That night I reported all the details to Roy, and the gratitude that was in his heart is far beyond my expression to relate to you." By Paul S. Richards, M.D., F.A.C.S., Salt Lake City, from Memories of Leroy Upson Gardner, in Transactions—McIntyre-Saranac Conference, 1955.