Baby Incubator

The first baby incubator in the U.S. in State Emigrant Hospital in New York
The first baby incubator in the U.S. in State Emigrant Hospital in New York

Historical Context

It wasn't that long ago that looking after a newborn was done solely in the home. As a result childbirth was often a dangerous time - any premature or sick babies often died without care.

After the Industrial Revolution, hospitals started to group newborns into special units, known as neonatal intensive care units. From there, the first incubators were invented. Edith Eleanor McLean, the baby in the photo above, was the first child in America to be placed into such a device.

Incubators replicate ideal conditions for newborns, particularly premature births, by providing oxygen, protection from the cold and protection from infections.

Photo Info


Location taken: New York, USA

Source: Health Central

Related Events

  • 1888-09-07 Edith Eleanor McLean is 1st baby to be placed in an incubator at State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island, New York

Historical Photos