Look up Deedy in Websters Dictionary and you will see the following definition - \Deed"y\, a. Industrious; active. [R.] --Cowper. But to me Deedy is simply my last name and not a very common one at that. My Father always said "find yourself in a strange city? Open a phone book, find a Deedy and give them a call - chances are they are a relative." So, for all the Deedy's out there hello and welcome.

A day in the maternity ward - May 1919

In my great aunt Jane Austin Sullivan's photo album are 5 photos taken in May 1919 at the Wesson Maternity Ward. Jane graduated from the Massachusetts General Hospital nursing program in 1919. I assume these photos were taken in her last month of training before graduation. I am not sure how common it is to have working hospital images from 1919 - this first images is not identified, but it appears to be a doctor very much at work - you can make out his bloody gloves and some sort of clamp. Perhaps he just completed a birth?

The next image is marked Wesson Maternity Hospital Springfield, MA, baby Salkins, May 1919. This photo shows my great aunt Jane washing a newborn in a basin. In 1919 the Massachusetts medical community was overwhelmed with the influenza epidemic. Perhaps that is why she is in Springfield as a Massachusetts General Hospital nursing student.

Here is Jane again, this time weighing a newborn named Jackie Wood. I love how she has named each of the infants. Working in the maternity ward must have been a fun period in her training. She was looking forward to it enough to remember to bring a camera to work!

This photo is of nurse Marie Powers again with infant Jackie Woods. She is also weighing the infant and now we can see the weighing table. It has a wicker cradle with the weighing dial below. The whole apparatus is balanced on top of a small table. It appears that the nurses are working in an area with laundry hanging behind and around them. It seems strange to be mixing the maternity ward with the laundry room - but perhaps there is a valid reason for it.

The last image is once again of great aunt Jane, this time she is standing behind a table with five infants lined in front of her. It looks like it was a busy day in May 1919 at the Wesson Maternity Hospital!


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