Baby Formula on Boston Harbor |
the floating hospital to infants worldwide
in the 1890s, Reverend Rufus B. Tobey was struck by the sight of poor women and
their sick children taking in the cool ocean breezes on Boston's waterfront on
sweltering summer evenings.
Tobey proposed taking these children and their
mothers out on the harbor to enjoy the sea air. When the Boston Herald published
the minister's suggestion, enough money was raised to outfit a boat. On July 25,
1894, the Boston Floating Hospital sailed. Each day, mothers and their children
received therapy, medical care, and health care education. For 33 years, the hospital
and research facilities were located aboard a ship.
Before the development
of milk pasteurization in 1921, children often became sick from spoiled milk.
Dr. Alfred Bosworth, a research chemist on board the Floating Hospital, believed
that human milk was superior to cow's milk for feeding infants. He developed a
milk-substitute baby formula, Similac, which feeds millions of infants worldwide,
but has recently become controversial. Mothers in the third world, encouraged
to use formula instead of breastfeeding, cannot afford milk substitutes.
1927, the hospital ship was destroyed by fire. Fortunately no patients were aboard.
In 1931 the Tufts New England Medical Center's Floating Hospital opened at its
current site (750 Washington Street, Boston) to continue on land its mission to
care for children. All this stems from an idea on a hot summer night.