Infant Summer Hospital, Rochester, New York

Up until the 1930's, infant mortality in the cities during the summers was ferocious. Infant susceptibility to a variety of respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders was exacerbated by poor sanitation, overcrowded tenements, contaminated milk supplies and lack of refrigeration. Various strategies were devised to remove infants from danger during the hottest months, such as the "Baby Tents of Chicago" described in Allin's article of 1911.

In Rochester, New York, a tent-based Infant Summer Hospital was established on the shores of Lake Ontario around 1885. The lake breezes blowing through the tent community were believed to be healthful for the babies.

A permanent building was established for the Infant Summer Hospital in 1890, and the name of the institution was changed from "Infant Summer Hospital" to "Convalescent Hospital for Children" in 1928.

This is a southwest view of the Infant Summer Hospital. The building on the right was the kitchen and mothers' dining room.

The sign on this building reads, "Sleeping Room for Night Nurses."

Pictures and portions of the text are from the "Images of Rochester" web site at

Created 8/26/2001 / Last modified 8/26/2001
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