The Baby Incubators   were one of the Pike's  few scientific
displays. The building, with its two large towers and open court
was one of the few  fire-proof attractions  on the Pike.

The Red Cross estimated that 17-40% of infants  (at the time), so this
 attraction was not only interesting but even vital to fairgoers.  

 "See the mites of humanity whose lives are being preserved by 
this wonderful method," stated the  newspaper advertisements for the Pike.  

There were twenty four `modern'  incubators  shown in this exhibit.  Each machine was an air-tight silver-framed glass  box. Hot air was pumped underneath the floorboards to keep the room's temperature constant. By artificial means (which included regulation of oxygen and ventilation), the incubator  helped an immature and feeble infant,    acclimatize  to the outside world.  Ten trained nursed, under the guidance of three physicians,  cared for the infants, who were separated from fairgoers by a wall of plate glass. 

Premature babies from St. Louis hospitals were  driven in ambulances in incubators on springs.  

An average of 25 babies were on display at one given day, while  four lecturers would inform the crowd about the process  on how the machines were heated and ventilated, and talked about various statistics pertaining to the care of the very young. 

The babies whose health improved as to not need
the incubators were placed in small enamel beds and
tiny cribs.

After viewing the immature babies,  visitors could buy
a souvenir soap baby and have lunch at the Incubator 
Cafe.  

An  abandoned premature infant was found in St. Louis
by a police officer and brought to  the incubator
babies attraction. After the abandoned baby was
placed in an incubator, the police officer brought
his new bride to the Fair many times stopping 
to observe the baby’s progress.

On Dec. 1, 1904, the day the Fair ended, the couple
adopted the baby and named her Frances 
after David Rowland Francis, the Exposition president.


BABY INCUBATORS
Exhibit Statictics:

Building cost:   31,000 dollars
Price of Admission-  25 cents adults, 15 cents children
Exhibition Profit-   181,632.95 dollars
Baby Incubator exterior
Nurse attending pre-mature baby.
MAIN
PIKE
Lee  Gaskins'   AT THE FAIR  The 1904 St. Louis World's   Fair  
                     Web  Design and Art/Illustration   copyrighted  2008