Infant Incubator

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Infant Incubator
Other Name(s) Baby Incubator
Type Exhibition
Park Section Colonnade
Opened 1908
Closed 1908
Number of Stories 1

There was an Infant Incubator or Baby Incubator exhibition that opened in the Colonnade at Olentangy Park on May 2, 1908.[1][2] The 2008 Souvenir of Olentangy Park Theatre and Zoological Garden said the nurses employed had been "trained especially for the incubator institution in Berlin and Paris" and that premature babies in ordinary conditions at the time survived only 15 percent of the time, but chances of survival rose to 85 percent with an incubator.

In the exhibit, each baby was given its own incubator, called a castle, where air was "purified by passing through an antiseptic fluid, and then though cotton, and it was warmed before it was permitted to pass into the infant's apartment." Before being placed in an incubator, the babies were given a bath with water and mustard. Two drops of brandy were placed in the baby's mouth for stimulation, followed by a special lotion applied to their bodies. The temperature is kept at 90-100 degrees for four days and the baby's are removed every two hours to be given 15 grams of nutrients that included milk from wet nurses. Once the baby can take 30 grams or 1 ounce of nutrients in one feeding, the baby is well enough to survive without the incubator.[2]

At least one premature baby in the exhibit was given artificial food and air and became well. The baby replaced a ragdoll stage prop in the play, "The Heir to the Hoorah," performed that year.[3] This seemed to be only open for the 1908 season.


  1. "Olentangy Park Concerts." Columbus Evening Dispatch. 2 May 1908. Pg. 10.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Barret, Richard E. "More on Olentangy Park." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 3. May 1985. Pg. 37.
  3. "The Incubator 'Heir'." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 12 July 1908. Pg. 29.