Health care for poor New Yorkers, 1890s-style

Medical care in the city’s poorest slums was pretty nonexistent in the late 1890s. So social reformer Lillian Wald—founder of the Henry Street Settlement and namesake of a housing project on Avenue D—established a visiting nurses service.

Her Nurses’ Settlement eventually had a staff of about 100 blue-uniformed nurses who went from tenement to tenement offering free or low-cost check-ups and treatment, mostly for immigrant mothers and kids. 

Rather than climbing all those tenement stairs on their rounds, the nurses simply hopped from rooftop to rooftop, like this nurse is doing here.

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3 Responses to “Health care for poor New Yorkers, 1890s-style”

  1. Health care for poor New Yorkers, 1890s-style « Joseph A. DePinto, LCSW Says:

    […] is a great article from Ephemeral New York.  Check it out here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)From The Heritage Foundation Via Megan McArdle: […]

  2. Nabe News: February 5 - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    […] the 1890s, nurses in the slums of the Lower East Side would hop from rooftop to rooftop rather than climb tenement stairs.  Real superheroes! [Ephemeral […]

  3. Health care acrobats | manufactura de centauros Says:

    […] via Ephemeral New York. […]

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