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Premature incubator babies in carnival sideshows in Chicago

Have you ever heard about this? Very interesting.


Asked by pagan_mama at 3:42 PM on Jul. 20, 2009 in Just for Fun

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Answers (7)
  • yes i saw that show and it was not horrible it probably saved those babies lives. back in the 30s when it was an exhibit at the World's Fair incubators were new and this was a Scientific break through. The babies were well cared for and it isn't like they never saw their parents again. It wasn't a side show it was near the side shows and the inventor used the money raised to make more incubators.

     The women who had the cup is still living and she would not have survived without that incubator. You were watching PBS and saw History Detectives. That show is fascinating isn't it.


    Answer by mamak57 at 4:03 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • pagan_mama

    Answer by pagan_mama at 3:43 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Ok I live near chicago and i've never heard about that! that's horrible!

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 3:43 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Wow, uh. Its nice that he at least helped them by having them in incubators. However, to make such a profit displaying them as freaks, well....i just hope the D-Bag enjoyed his big fancy house bought and paid for from defenseless babies.

    Answer by BabyBeans0506 at 3:59 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • The babies were lined up under heaters and they breathed filtered air. Few of them weighed more than three
    pounds. They shared the Boardwalk there on Coney Island with Violetta the Armless Legless Wonder,
    Princess WeeWee, Ajax the Sword-Swallower and all the rest. From 1903 until the early 1940's, premature
    infants in incubators were part of the carnival.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:00 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • I think the way they presented this article was to elict an off the cuff emotional response; which initally it did...but upon further reading and setting modern culture aside; consider the time this occured. Consider the alternative resource avail to the parents of these poor children. At this time in history most premature babies were not expected to survive; yet he saved 6,500 out of 8,000; sounds like pretty decent odds for the level of technology at the time.

    I think he was trying to do what he felt was right and beneficial to humanity; just happens to be the best way to accomplish that during his life is something we can not fathom in ours...

    Answer by beachmamaof2 at 4:27 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Yes, that's the show, and I was fascinated, I had never heard of the incubator babies being at the carnivals and publically displayed like that.

    Answer by pagan_mama at 4:31 PM on Jul. 20, 2009