A Hatching Cradle
This week marks the anniversary of the first use of one of the earliest infant incubators for premature babies. On Sept. 7, 1888, Edith Eleanor McLean, who weighed just 2 pounds, 7 ounces, became the first occupant of the "hatching cradle" after her birth at the State Emigrant Hospital, Ward's Island, in New York City. The device, 3 feet by 4 feet and warmed by 15 gallons of water, was built by William Champion Deming, M.D., who was in charge of the maternity ward. Similar devices were developed in France, as far back as 1857.
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