The First Hospital in the United States

February 11th Celebrates The First Hospital in the United States

Today on Days to Remember we celebrate how on February 11th 1752 the first hospital that opens in America was in Pennsylvania.

If you traveled to Philadelphia today to tour the historic part of the city, you’d probably skip the hospital. But, you’d be missing out on chunk of history that isn’t talked about too much today.

The Pennsylvania Hospital, founded by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond, became the first hospital in the U.S. (Colonial America at the time) when it opened its doors to patients Feb. 11, 1752.

Originally opened in a converted house, the hospital at the current location was built in 1755.

Tours of the hospital are offered Monday through Friday (both self-guided and guided) and include a visit to the oldest existing surgical amphitheater in the country. The amphitheater was built in 1804 on the top floor so that surgeons could operate with the light from the sun – since there wasn’t electricity. The hospital also houses a historic 13,000-volume library and a large garden.

Today’s YouTube video brought to you by user name (philantiques) Stacey C. Peeples, Curator-Lead Archivist for the Pennsylvania Hospital Historical Collection, discusses some of the standout pieces from the 2012 Loan Exhibit at the Philadelphia Antiques Show. This exhibition marks the first time this impressive collection has left the confines of the Pine Building at Pennsylvania Hospital.

The hospital has served as a center for treating the war wounded. Patients were brought to the hospital for treatment in the Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and the Spanish–American War, and units from the hospital were sent abroad to treat wounded in World War I and in World War II.

It was also known as the first maternity hospital for women, back then most women had their babies at home with the help of mid-wives.

Benjamin Franklin, whose face ought to be on Kick starter as well as the 100-dollar bill, raised even more than he’d vowed, and the hospital was authorized, opening in a private home and admitting its first patients on February 11, 1752 it wasn’t until 1755, that the ground was broken for the permanent building, which was complete with three wings and surgical theater by 1804.

Today the Pennsylvania Hospital is the centerpiece of the University of Pennsylvania medical school’s health care complex. As remember today how on February 11th 1752 the first hospital that opens in America was in Pennsylvania.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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