[LISTEN] New York City's Oldest Hospital Pioneered Care For Presidents And Paupers

Since first opening its doors in 1736 on the City Common, Bellevue Hospital has served the people of New York City as its primary public hospital. A medical center for the masses, Bellevue helps hundreds of thousands of people annually, and is one of the busiest in the City.

Over the course of its long history, and throughout its movement uptown to its current location in Kips Bay, Bellevue Hospital has seen it all. Check out this short audio clip from NPR titled "Bellevue Hospital Pioneered Care For Presidents And Paupers" then read the accompanying article to learn more about the famous hospital in our backyard.

Opened in 1816 on the old Bel-Vue estate bordering the East River, the so-called Bellevue Establishment was the largest and most expensive building project in the city's history to date, containing an almshouse, an orphanage, a lunatic asylum, a prison and an infirmary. An infectious disease hospital would be added in 1826.
Opened in 1816 on the old Bel-Vue estate bordering the East River, the so-called Bellevue Establishment was the largest and most expensive building project in the city's history to date, containing an almshouse, an orphanage, a lunatic asylum, a prison and an infirmary. An infectious disease hospital would be added in 1826.
Photo: NPR
In 1876, O.G. Mason, Bellevue's official photographer, took a carefully staged photograph of a blood transfusion in progress.
In 1876, O.G. Mason, Bellevue's official photographer, took a carefully staged photograph of a blood transfusion in progress.
Photo: NPR
Bellevue's first class of interns, top, circa 1856. At bottom, America's first professional nursing school opened at Bellevue in 1873. Preferring single, literate, religious women from cultivated families, it rejected most applicants on account of "bad breeding."
Bellevue's first class of interns, top, circa 1856. At bottom, America's first professional nursing school opened at Bellevue in 1873. Preferring single, literate, religious women from cultivated families, it rejected most applicants on account of "bad breeding."
Photo: NPR
Applying the lessons he learned as a medical administrator in the Civil War, Edward Dalton organized the nation's first civilian ambulance corps at Bellevue in 1869. Here, a Bellevue ambulance surgeon provides assistance to an injured New Yorker.
Applying the lessons he learned as a medical administrator in the Civil War, Edward Dalton organized the nation's first civilian ambulance corps at Bellevue in 1869. Here, a Bellevue ambulance surgeon provides assistance to an injured New Yorker.
Photo: NPR
During the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, which killed upwards of 50 million people worldwide, patients at Bellevue slept in corridors, closets, and on beds of straw on the floors. No one was turned away.
During the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, which killed upwards of 50 million people worldwide, patients at Bellevue slept in corridors, closets, and on beds of straw on the floors. No one was turned away.
Photo: NPR

via NPR

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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