Grady Archival Photos 1896-1958
February 28, 2013
For all the changes Grady Memorial Hospital has encountered since 2007, its location has stayed the same since opening its doors in 1892. The downtown Atlanta hospital was built on that land for four reasons: it was available, it stood on high ground that prevented flooding, it was close to the original trolley car, and a medical school already existed nearby.
Grady grew larger as more and more patients required care. Major expansions took place throughout the hospital’s first 70 years, including the construction of an enormous 1,000-bed facility in the 1950's that still stands today.
Martin Moran, a retired doctor and author, has explored Grady’s history in his book, Atlanta’s Living Legacy: A History of Grady Memorial Hospital and its People
. It’s not only a historical treasure trove filled with insight about the institution’s past, but it also contains archival photographs from the safety-net hospital’s earliest years. CL
compiled some of those pictures, which date back to when horses pulled ambulances near the end of the 19th century.
click to enlarge
Children's Ward, 1896
Grady Memorial Hospital opened its doors to patients on June 2, 1892.
According to Martin Moran's book, Atlanta's Living Legacy: A History of Grady Memorial Hospital and Its People, the driver of the ambulance in this picture was also Grady Hospital's first patient, an African-American railroad employee named Allen Kimball. After receiving treatment, he worked until his death in the early 1930s as an orderly as an ambulance driver for Grady.
Kimball was actually not the first person to seek medical care at Grady. That person was turned away because they were chronically ill and did not live in Atlanta. According to Moran, people who were "incurables" or who lived outside of the city were not initially allowed to receive treatment at Grady.
Before Grady opened its Children’s Ward in 1897, children primarily received care in their homes, usually from a family member. The opening of the ward represented a change in how children were medically treated. When it first opened, however, only white children were treated.
By 1899, despite having only one ambulance and three horses, the ambulance service made close to 2,000 calls in an area covering 26 square miles, according to an annual city report.
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