Martin Couney

Martin Arthur Couney

  • Birth Name: Michael Cohen
  • Prussian

Martin A Couney was a Prussian medical entrepreneur, notable for his pioneering work in neonatal incubators and for providing professional medical care for premature infants at a time when they were considered hopeless. Couney cared for babies regardless of race or social class and did not charge their parents. In 1903, for example, it cost about 15 US dollars (about 405 today) a day to care for each baby. Couney received his funding through entrance fees at various exhibits he setup in well attend expositions and fairgrounds in Europe and America. - AsNotedIn

After two weeks, the people who are in charge of the finances came to my father and said, "How are you going to pay for this?" And my father wasn't sure how he was going to pay for it, because he just bought a house, and they had another little girl who was 3 years old. He also had his mother-in-law living with him. Honestly said, "I don't know how", but all of a sudden their pediatrician says, "I've got a way. I can take you to the New York World's Fair. My friend has set up their own incubator babies and we can take her there."Kathryn Ashe Meyer on why, as a new born, she left Cornell University's New York Hospital inside an incubator ambulance


Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
1869/00/00 Michael Cohen is born in Krotoszyn in the Province of Posen, Prussia. Born
1901/05/01 Martin Couney opens the Baby incubator building, a care facility and exhibit for premature infants, at Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. Work 1901 Pan-American Exposition
1903/05/00 Martin Couney opens a sideshow at Luna Park, one of the amusement parks on the Coney Island boardwalk, exhibiting premature human babies living in glass incubators. Couney does not charged parents for the care, which includes doctors and nurses. Work Coney Island
1905/05/00 Martin Couney opens a exhibits of premature babies care for in incubators at Atlantic city. Couney does not charged parents for the care, which includes doctors and nurses. Work
1907/00/00 Martin Couney's daughter, Hildegarde Couney, is born six weeks premature, weighing just three pounds (1.4 kilos). Father
1909/06/01 Martin Couney opens an incubator care facility and exhibit for premature infants at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition in Seatle. Work University of Washington, Seattle Seattle Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition
1934/05/27 Dr Julius Hess and Martin Couney open "Living Babies in Incubators" at the Chicago World's Fair grounds. Operating over the next 18 months, The infant incubator exhibit was built at a cost of $75,000 ($1.4 million today). Work A Century of Progress International Exposition
1934/07/25 In July, 41 of 58 infants care for by Couney and Hess in 1933, along with their mothers, return to Chicago's World's Fair for 'Homecoming' celebration. Work
1940/06/14 Born premature in the summer of 1939, Kathryn Ashe graduates from Martin Couney's Baby Incubator Institute exhibit at the New York World's Fair. Unable to afford Cornell University's NY Hospital, Couney had sent his incubator ambulance to pick her up. Work 1939 New York World's Fair Grounds New York City 1939 New York World's Fair
1943/00/00 Couney discontinues his Atlantic City summer incubator exhibits. His Coney Island summer attractions also close. Couney's Infantoriums have been accredited with saving the lives of over 6,500 premature infants. Work Coney Island
1950/00/00 Incubators become common in American hospital maternity wards. Life
1950/03/01 Martin Arthur Couney dies in relative obscurity at aged 80 in Coney Island, New York. Died
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