The doctor is in?

Every day we read about or hear, in one way or another, about how a doctor has saved a life. There are so many reasons I am thankful for the health professionals.  I think of all of the health professionals that take time out of their holiday’s to help complete strangers.

So now, you might ask, am I writing about people in the medical profession? Before I answer this question, I would like to introduce you to the very first incubator and where it was first introduced to the public.

Setting: Wonderland Amusement Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Lake Street and 31st Avenue. Turn of the 20th century.

“The exhibit at Wonderland, while short-lived, was extremely successful. It opened in 1905, along with the amusement park itself. Unlike at the Coney Island amusement park, according to Minneapolis Past, the incubator babies were the main attraction at Wonderland. The hospital building itself was two stories tall. The Minneapolis Journal reported that “the first floor will be devoted to a room in which the incubators…will be exhibited. A room adjoining will be fitted up as a model nursery…The rooms upstairs are the living rooms” for the doctors and nurses.    

Because the idea of displaying infants at expositions was a social frontier, it was very controversial in society at the time. As soon as Couney had set up the first exhibit at Coney Island, the Brooklyn Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC) protested his actions. They believed that it was immoral to display infants in a public place, and that Couney’s main goal was not to save babies, but to make money.

 Evidence for the medical impact of the incubator hospitals can be found in the large numbers of infants that were saved. The Minneapolis Daily Times reported that “it is a matter of statistical record that previous to the use of the incubator that only 15% of the prematurely born lived. By use of the incubator 85% are saved.”  At Coney Island, “his [Couney’s] success was astounding. He saved over 6,500 of the 8000 babies brought to him” (Adams 51). “ ~ Borrowed from http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ht/35.1/lieberman.html.

About now, you have probably checked to see what website you have accidentally stumbled upon. You are thinking, “This is all great and fine but really….I want to read about The San Francisco Music Box Company and what wonderful things they have been working on!”

What would you say if I told you that a surgeon, a medical instrument technician and a BIG idea (hint, hint) was responsible for the very first documented Snow Globe! Getting interesting now, yes?

Setting: Surgical Clinic in Vienna, Paris. Turn of the 20th century.

“At the turn of the 20th century, a surgeon asked Erwin Perzy, a medical instrument technician, to make the Edison light bulb brighter for his operating room in Vienna. Perzy drew inspiration from shoemakers, who would fill a globe with water and place it in front of a candle to magnify lighting. To further enhance the effect, Perzy filled the water globe first with tinsel, then with white grit, to reflect the bulb’s light. Unfortunately, the idea failed. The added particles floated to the bottom and no longer increased light.

But the effect Perzy created with the white grit fascinated him. It reminded him of falling snow.

As Perzy experimented with the water globe, a souvenir handler and friend asked him to make a miniature of the Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary (to this day, the basilica is the most important pilgrimage site in Austria). Using pewter from his medical instruments shop, Perzy created the miniature. He then decided to place the miniature in the glass water globe with the white grit. The first snow globe was invented.

Perzy knew he was onto something. In 1900 he got a patent for his “Glass Globe With Snow Effect.” From 1900 to 1905, Perzy played around with different scenic miniatures and different white material to mimic snow.” ~ Borrowed from The Los Angele’s Times.

In conclusion, this year The San Francisco Music Box Company is thankful for our medical professionals and the lengths they will go to save a life AND the lengths they will go to correct a dim operating room!

Want to see how the magic of YesterYear has influenced The San Francisco Music Box Company? Look Here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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