From the "Medical Record" September, 1901  pg 130 - 133:

The Exposition in Its Medical Aspects

The Pan-American Exposition has been in operation for four months and now has become familiar to a vast number of people, either by personal visitation or through oral and written accounts of what has been seen and described by visitors.

That the verdict of this vast throng of witnesses is one of approval may be observed in the steadily increasing attendance, the totals, per diem, jumping from thousands numbered in the forties during the first week in August, to those bordering on the eighties in the last week of the scorpion month. This is a gratifying condition, but it should be increased to the hundred thousand a day mark for the next two months, and we have no doubt these figures will be reached.

To the medical man there is much of special interest to be observed and studied at the fair, in addition to the vast exhibition of art work, machinery, agricultural material, colonial, specialties and products, government displays and so on, to a never-ending accumulation of everything that can be raised or made by the hand of man. In the August issue of the JOURNAL - we published a lengthy review of the medical and surgical side of the Exposition, written by the special correspondent of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, who presented the subject in an attractive and readable form, displaying the trained observer in every paragraph.

We now present to our readers a similar review of the same field, written by the special correspondent of the New York Medical Record, who is an equally keen observer as well as writer. There may be discovered some little repetition in these two accounts, but each presents his own ideas from separate viewpoints and, taken together, they will afford to physicians the best possible penpictures of the medical features of the exposition. We feel sure they will be read with interest, and we cannot urge the exposition too strongly upon the attention of all physicians who desire to be entertained, instructed, and amused during a pleasant vacation.

The Medical Record's article is taken from its issue of August 17, I901, and is as follows:


There is much in the Exposition at Buffalo to attract and hold the attention of scientific and medical men. A person desirous of viewing thoroughly and of studying with some care the numerous exhibits exemplifying progress in medicine and science, will not only need to have a considerable amount of time at his disposal, but will also find his task greatly facilitated if he has a knowledge of the location of the features of interest.

Upon entering the West Amherst Gate the first building that strikes the view is the Emergency Hospital, the general plan and functions of which were described at length in the Medical Record some three months ago. It may nevertheless be mentioned that its province is wholly restricted to medical work, that serious cases are transferred to institutions outside the grounds, and that no patient is permitted to remain overnight. The building contains twenty-six beds, and is excellently equipped in accordance with the latest methods of sanitary science. The medical director of the exposition, Dr. Roswell Park, looks after its administration and with Dr. Vertner Kenerson, the physician the directly in charge, visits the institution daily. The house staff is composed of six young medical men who take duty in turn, two at the same time. The nursing staff comprises four nurses. There is also in the service of the hospital an automobile ambulance in charge of medical students of the University of Buffalo.

The hospital during the three months of the Exposition's existence has treated upwards of 3,000 cases, the majority of which have been medical. It is satisfactory to note that there have been but a few cases of a grave nature and that the occurrence of sunstroke and heat exhaustion has been remarkably rare. This fact when taking into consideration the prevalence of excessive heat all over the country at the end of June and at the beginning of July is decidedly noteworthy, and says volumes for the salubrity of Buffalo.

By far the larger number of those who have made use of the hospital up to the present time have been women, while among the employees and temporary residents of the Exposition the foreign element has supplied the bulk of the patients. The complaints have been characterised for the most part by their simple nature, and there has been no suspicion of anything resembling an epidemic. Probably the diarrhea and stomach disturbance to which the foreigners have shown themselves especially prone may be attributed to an unaccustomed mode of living, and perhaps to injudicious eating and drinking. On the whole, however, the health of the Exposition inhabitants has been highly satisfactory as has been also the health of the visitors to the great fair.

Those who are responsible for the management and supervision of the Emergency Hospital must be commended for admirable manner in which their duties have been carried out and they can lay the flattering function to their hearts that their work has been well appreciated by the general public.

The incubation of infants seems, to use an every-day colloquial expression, to have "caught on ' in more than one sense of the word. This method, of. course, is largely resorted to the rearing of weakly infants, and it also would appear to be equally popular from an exhibition standpoint.

In London some few years ago, an exhibition of infants in incubators was an adjunct to Barnum's show, and at that time the Lancet passed severe strictures upon the procedure, declaring the scheme was deserving of grave censure, and that it was neither fitting nor right that hapless babes should be placed on exhibition for the sake of gain while one may agree with the remarks of our contemporary so far as this side of the question is concerned, it nevertheless cannot be denied that incubators have been the means of saving the life of many a prematurely born infant whether for its weal or woe is altogether another matter. As, however, it seems that incubators have come to stay, the object should certainly be to provide the very best of the kind. The invention of and improvements made in the couveuse have been dealt with fully at different times in the Medical Record.

The incubators, twelve in number, are placed around a well-lighted room of which the walls and floors are impermeable The incubators are glass-covered, and the infant reposes upon mattress of woven wire, padded with soft material. A card placed above each incubator, stating the date of the occupant's birth, its weight, and other details. A uniform temperature, is assured in the incubators by means of a thermostat. The heat is derived from a metal boiler, which can be heated by a Bunsen burner or an ordinary lamp. Ventilation is provided by the introduction of fresh air into the incubator from outside, the air being sterised by filtration through an antiseptic fluid and then through cotton. The infants are taken out of the incubator every two hours and rmoved to a small room fitted as a nursery, there being bed by wet nurses and inspected as to their condition of cleanliness.

Nearly all the infants on exhibition are stated to be seven months' children. Whatever may be thought of the incubation method of preserving life, it must be confessed that the exhibition at Buffalo is excellently conducted, and is one of the most popular of the entire exposition. Indeed it is quite amusing to watch the crowds that frequent the baby show, which but goes to prove that after all a spectacle of human interest is most attractive to all classes.

On one side of the Emergency Hospital a "creche'' has been established, the lack of such a necessary haven of rest for weary little ones having been greatly felt. Its institution was largely due to the eloquent plea on behalf of tired mothers and children set forth recently in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. The creche will be undoubtedly welcomed with lively feelings of gratitude, and will not only be highly appreciated by mothers of small families, but will be the means of bringing to the exposition many parents with their quivers full who would otherwise be compelled to forgo a visit.

A few words may be said in regard to the sanitation of the Exposition as a whole. The buildings are almost without exception well constructed, and due attention has been paid to their ventilation and hygienic qualities generally. There is, however, one conspicuous and even glaring exception to this satisfactory state of affairs, and this too in a building which contains one of the most attractive and popular displays on the grounds, and which is largely frequented by visitors to the exposition. The ventilation and sanitary arrangements of the art galleries, are to put the case mildly, extremely defective. When the weather is warm, the atmosphere of the interior of the structure devoted to the fine arts is oppressive to a degree, and judging from the odor which commonly prevails, there must be something very wrong with the plan upon which the sanitation has been conceived. Even an enthusiast in art, and one who is carried away by his love for the beautiful, is nevertheless rarely so unconscious of sublunary matters as to be unwitting of heat and altogether careless of an offense to his olfactory organs; while to the ordinary individual the discomforts of the art building are apt to outweigh the pressure of gazing upon the really fine specimens of the artist's and sculptor's craft contained therein.

Perhaps the most instructive and interesting display in the entire Exposition -- at any rate to the medical man -- is that made by the medical department of the army. This exhibit, which is under the direction of Captain Edward L. Munson of the United States Army Medical Department, is the largest and most complete of any in the exposition, and represents a model brigade field hospital, exemplifying its equipment and working down to the smallest detail. The only drawback to the unqualified success of this practical presentation of army medical methods is that the space allotted is decidedly limited in extent. So that, although the brigade field hospital is in itself illustrative of its object, the drill of the hospital Corps has to be considerably curtailed owing to inadequacy of area.