Mechanical ventilators are safety-critical devices that help patients breathe, commonly found in hospital intensive care units (ICUs)-yet, the high costs and proprietary nature of commercial ventilators inhibit their use as an educational and research platform. We present a fully open ventilator device-The People's Ventilator: PVP1-with complete hardware and software documentation including detailed build instructions and a DIY cost of $1,700 USD. We validate PVP1 against both key performance criteria specified in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization for Ventilators, and in a pediatric context against a state-of-the-art commercial ventilator. Notably, PVP1 performs well over a wide range of test conditions and performance stability is demonstrated for a minimum of 75,000 breath cycles over three days with an adult mechanical test lung. As an open project, PVP1 can enable future educational, academic, and clinical developments in the ventilator space.