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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Baby Buffet: 1919

Baby Buffet: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Maternity ward. Nurses with babies." Please have your claim check ready. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Baby Mix-up?

So, how do we know that the little bundles of joy were all returned to their rightful cribs, when these student nurses were done posing? After all, babies mostly all look alike.

How do we know the little Smith baby boy didn't get returned to the Jones family instead? Who knows what mix-ups and errors were made, for the sake of a photo?

Of course, by now, 94 years later, it's probably too late to worry about it.

[You really think they had no method in place to deal with that? -tterrace]

Times sure change!

Wonder how many nurses (or student nurses) actually watched over these newborns. When my granddaughters were born 5 and 3 1/2 years ago, the maternity ward had about 14 newborns, and only two nurses on duty. Actually, one sat at a desk with a computer monitor typing away, and the other made the rounds, going from baby to baby. Of course, I was only watching one of the newborns.

Measurably hot

Thought Nurse #5 was the departmental scribe, with a fountain pen clipped to her cleavage? Much more likely that it's a thermometer in a classy pen-style case... after all, that was the height of diagnostic technology at the time.

Students?

My guess is the center nurse is the instructor/supervisor - she has a black band about her cap, and the others are all white, and she has a very stern expression - and the others are student nurses. Second from the left is very sweet-looking.

And what a lot of babies!

Health code violation

No sneeze guard.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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