Who invented the incubator for premature babies?

America's first hospitals for premature infants were built at the turn of the 20th century at fairs, amusement parks and expositions. These hospitals represented both a medical and a social frontier. They had a great impact on the medical profession because they demonstrated the success of caring for premature infants using incubators. One of the first modern incubator systems was invented by Alexandre Lion of France. The Lion incubators which were later used in the first American incubator hospitals, were invented in 1891. These incubators were heated by a cylindrical water boiler that was mounted on the outside wall of the incubator. This type of incubator system was unique, because the incubators had their own ventilation system. Inspired by Lion's success and fascinated by the popularity of the exhibits, Martin Couney set up an incubator exhibit at an exposition in Berlin. Couney was German, and a student of the noted pediatrician Pierre Budin. Budin had studied under Stephane Tarnier, who had invented the first warm air incubator. Couney set up his first American incubator hospital at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in 1898 in Omaha, Nebraska.

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