Exposition National Suisse, Geneva, 1896
The 1896 Swiss National Exposition opened on May 1 and closed on October 15. It had 2.3 million visitors, but ended in the red. For the first time in Switzerland, a national exposition was supplemented by an amusement park (Parc de Plaisance). The Village Suisse boasted an artificial mountain representing the Bernese Obeland, 56 houses, and 3,523 inhabitants dressed in the country’s most diverse costumes, while the Village Noir offered 230 imported Sudanese who lived in mud huts for the summer.
Drs. Thijs Gras kindly sent this scan of the cover of a souvenir booklet for Alexandre Lion’s exhibit at the exposition. The image is also available from the Bibliothèque de Genève. I have not been successful in finding any other images of the incubator baby exhibit, not even the usual souvenir postcards that Dr. Lion produced for other exhibitions.
Revue Médicale de La Suisse Romande had an extensive article by Dr. Hector Maillart about Lion’s exhibit in the 1896 edition.
“Visitors to the Exhibition all noticed the pavilion which housed the children’s incubators and which had been installed by the house of A. Lion of Paris to publicize its devices. Having been entrusted by this house with the medical supervision of the establishment for the duration of the Exhibition, I would like to share some thoughts that these five months of activity have suggested to me.
“I will not enter here into a long dissertation on the incubator for preterm infants; this is a subject that has become classic and perfectly known to all practitioners; the literature has been very rich in them since Tarnier’s first communications in 1880.
“Each lying-in hospital currently has devices that are more or less well constructed and more or less easy to handle. almost unique source of the many failures of baby incubators. We could see at the Exhibition that with the Lion incubators these disadvantages disappear…” –– H. Maillart, Revue Médicale de la Suisse Romande, 1896.
Map and overhead view of the exposition.
- “Quelques Réflexions sur le Fonctionnement et les Résultats des Couveuses Lion pendant l’Exposition Nationale,” by Dr. Hector Maillart, Revue Médicale de La Suisse Romande, 1896.
- L’Exposition Nationale Suisse de 1896 (Swiss identity in Shows 1880-1930)
- “Swiss Village” at the National Exhibition in 1896 (Wikipedia).
- General Information
- Press Coverage
- La Maternité “Lion de Nice” pour Enfants Nés Avant Terme ou Débiles, by Dr. Ciaudo, 1895.
- Les Couveuses pour Enfants, Gazette Médicale de Paris, 1900
- Couveuses d’Enfants, La Maternité Lion, Paris, La Patrie, 1897
- Paris Letter: An Improved System of Incubators, by O. Jennings, Pediatrics 1:427-428, 1896
- Baby Incubators, The Strand Magazine, 1896, by James Walter Smith
- Human Infant Incubation: A True Fairy-Tale of Modern Science from Leslie’s Weekly, 1897
- The Saving of Human Life, Maternité Lion in NYC, The Literary Digest, 1898
- Immature Infants in France, from The Lancet, January 16, 1897, page 196.
- Alexandre Lion’s Incubator Charities in Europe (1894–1898) (The Embryo Project)
- Newspaper Articles about Lion’s Storefronts and Expositions
- Maternité Lion Souvenir Booklets
- Oeuvre Maternelle des Couveuses d’Enfants , Paris Institute, Booklet Version #1 (appears to be ~1896)
- Oeuvre Maternelle des Couveuses d’Enfants , Paris Institute, Booklet Version #2 (appears to be ~1901)
- Pamphlet from Alexander Lion’s exhibit at the 1898 exhibition in Torino, Italy. (PDF supplied by Dr. Thijs Gras, Amsterdam)
- Worlds Fairs and Expositions
- Maternité Lion at the Lyon Exposition Universelle et Coloniale, 1894
- Maternité Lion at the Bordeaux Exposition of 1895.
- “La Maternité Lion,” by Louis Énault, Journal of the Bordeaux Exposition, 1895
- Maternité Lion at the Amsterdam World Exposition, 1895
- Maternité Lion at the Berliner Gewerbeausstellung, 1896
- Maternité Lion at the Exposition National Suisse, Geneva, Switzerland, 1896
- Maternité Lion at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, 1897
- Maternité Lion at the Brussels International Exposition, 1897
- Maternité Lion at the Turin L’Esposizione Generale Italiana, 1898
- Maternite Lion at the Ghent Provincial Exposition of 1899
- Maternité Lion at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900
- Woman’s Exhibition in Earls Court, London, 1900
- Maternité Lion at the Lille Exposition of 1902
- Maternité Lion at the Marseille Colonial Exposition of 1906
- Maternite Lion at the Bordeaux International Maritime Exposition of 1907
- Maternité Lion at the Marseille Exposition Internationale d’Électricité, 1908
- Maternité Lion at the Exposition Internationale de l’Est de la France, Nancy, France, 1909
- Maternité Lion at the Brussels Exposition Universelle et Internationale, 1910
- Maternite Lion at the Exposition du Centre de la France, Clermont-Ferrand, 1910
- Maternité Liion at the Rome International Exposition of 1911
- Maternité Lion at the Turin International Exposition of 1911
- Maternité Lion at the Ghent International Exposition of 1913