Connecticut and New Haven's First General Hospital

Knight Hospital and the Civil War

Late Nineteenth-Century Expansion and the Founding of Grace Hospital

The Connecticut Training School for Nurses and the Dispensary

The Founding of the Hospital of Saint Raphael

For-Profit Private Hospitals in New Haven

New Haven Hospital, 1900-1920

New Haven, Grace, and Saint Raphael, 1920s and 1930s

Grace-New Haven Community Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, 1940s and 1950s

Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, 1960s to the Present

Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

Historical Library

Yale-New Haven Hospital

St. Raphael's Healthcare System

Late Nineteenth-Century Expansion and the Founding of Grace Hospital

Late 19th century expansion of hospitals

After 1850 and especially after the Civil War, the number of hospitals in America proliferated rapidly. By 1907 there were over 4,000 hospitals. The number of working-class people in urban areas in need of hospital care had grown immensely through immigration and industrialization. In the larger cities in the U.S., hospitals proliferated, and many smaller cities built their first hospitals. Even before the Civil War, in 1854, Connecticut had acquired a second general hospital -- the Hartford Hospital. The hospital in New Haven was increasingly called the New Haven Hospital; the name was made official in 1884.


The Main (North) Building, 1880s

Because of the increased need for hospital beds, and increased philanthropy, the New Haven Hospital expanded greatly in the late 19th century. In 1872, with the aid of a state appropriation and private gifts, east and west wings constructed of brick were added to the main building. They provided space for 126 additional beds and a dormitory for the new Connecticut Training School for Nurses. In 1882, a separate dormitory for the nurses was erected. In the 1880s the main (north) building contained the superintendent's residence, staff offices, hospital kitchen, dining rooms, linen room, a drug room, and an admitting room for patients. The attic or third story contained the surgical operating room. Except for a few private patients, patients were accommodated in wards in the new additions. The original building no longer exists; it was demolished to make way for the Clinic Building in 1929.

Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library


Farnam Amphitheatre and Gifford Chapel

In 1888 the Farnam Operating Amphitheatre with up-to-date facilities was built with funds donated by Mrs. Henry Farnam in memory of her son George Bronson Farnam. It replaced an operating room on the top story of the main (north) building. The following year the Gifford Wards, originally known as the Gifford Home for Incurables, and Gifford Chapel were completed with funds from the estate of Ellen Marrett Gifford.

The photo shows the Gifford Chapel used as a ward to treat soldiers in the Spanish-American War, 1898.

Yale-New Haven Hospital Archives


Wards and Medical Staff, ca. 1897

This 1897 medical yearbook shows the interior of the surgical wards (left) and lists the staff of the New Haven Hospital (right). Other wards at this time handled medical cases, fever, children, and chronic cases. The majority, but not all, the clinical professors of the medical school, then known as Yale Medical College, were on the hospital staff.

The Symptom Record, 1897 [student yearbook]. New Haven: Yale Medical College, 1897. Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library


William Carmalt Operating in the Farnam Amphitheatre, 1890s

William Carmalt was Professor of the Principles and Practice of Surgery in the medical school from 1881 to 1907. The Farnam Amphitheatre in which he carried out his operations provided seats for seventy-five students and was supplied with "the latest aseptic appliances and furniture." It was the development of aseptic surgery, especially, that first brought more middle class and wealthier patients into the hospital.

Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library


Grace Hospital, chartered 1889

Grace Hospital was founded as a homeopathic and eclectic medical institution. All 31 incorporators listed in the charter of the Grace Hospital Society, approved by the General Assembly on June 12, 1889, were members of the Connecticut Homeopathic Medical Society and the Connecticut Eclectic Medical Society. Among them were two women physicians, Adelaide Lambert and Sarah B. Newton. By the terms of the constitution, other members of the homeopathic and eclectic societies were invited to become members of the Grace Hospital Society, without payment, within six months. Others might become members through donations. Like the New Haven Hospital, Grace Hospital was organized as a charitable institution. An amendment in 1895 allowed the Grace Hospital Society to establish and manage directly through its Prudential Committee a training school for nurses.

Charter, Constitution and By-Laws, Rules and Regulations of Grace Hospital Society and Training School for Nurses and the Woman's Board of Grace Hospital, 1897. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1897. Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library


Original Building of Grace Hospital

This building was located on West Chapel Street near the area where the Hospital of Saint Raphael was later built. The postcard (right)) was postmarked 1908.

Photograph: Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Postcard: Yale-New Haven Hospital Archives


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