Hospitals around the United States began to refer parents of preemies to Dr. Couney. Couney accepted patients at no charge to the parents and the infants were placed in the incubators and monitored by trained nurses and fed by wet nurses. By some estimates, Couney was able to rehabilitate 90% of the premature infants placed in his care.Couney's baby incubator attractions were featured at prominent expos and amusement parks. The babies were also featured at Coney Island's Luna Park, and at a number of the World's Fair expositions including New York City's World Fair, the Omaha Trans-Mississippi Exposition, the Buffalo Exposition and the Chicago World's Fair.
As more hospitals began to develop methods for treating premature infants, and as the field of neonatology became more accepted, Dr. Couney declared success and closed the exhibits in the 1940s. The Atlantic City exhibit closed in 1943. Dr. Couney died in March of 1950 at his home in Coney Island.
Resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
"Young's Pier - Infant Incubators." Press of Atlantic City. 3 July 1905.
Jack Klein. "When Premature Babies were 'Stars' on Atlantic City Boardwalk." Annals of Southern Jersey History. 7 October 1979.
Amuseuments. 31 May 1920.
Local History Subject File - "Infant Incubator"
This ad for the infant incubator exhibit appeared in a 1920 Atlantic City Amusements Guide (H009.InfantIncubatorMay311920Amuseuments. Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library).