Incubated Babies Fairs
Photo credit: Wikimedia
Before the 20th century, premature babies had very little chance of survival. That was set to change when Dr. Martin Corney invented his incubator, but not many people trusted the machine. Hospitals rejected it, and investors were not forthcoming. To prevent the death of his invention and convince skeptics, Couney came up with a very strange and crazy solution. He built an exhibit in which premature babies will be put on display at fairs and parks. The first exhibit, or “child hatchery,” opened in Berlin in 1896. He soon moved to the US, where he opened an exhibit on Coney Island.
Couney’s exhibit looked like a normal hospital. He placed babies in wards and employed doctors and nurses to look after them. The only difference was that one side of the ward was glass, and people watched through it.
The exhibit was very successful. Parents brought their premature babies to Couney and did not have to pay for medical care. The customers were charged up to 25 cents for the show, and the money collected paid for all expenses. Most of the premature children on display survived. By the time incubated babies fairs ended four decades later, Couney had managed to convince everyone that his incubators were safe.
Not a traditional approach, but it seemed to have done the job. That's what counts, I reckon.
Coffee inside again, even though it is supposed to warm up some out on the patio.