February 28, 2013 Slideshows

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Grady Archival Photos 1896-1958 

Grady Hospital
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.
Grady Hospital
Nursing Class, Circa 1900

A photo of the first nursing class to graduate from the Grady Hospital Training School for Nurses. The nursing students entered in 1898 and graduated in May 1900.

Grady Hospital
Butler Street Building, 1912

The new Butler Street Building, which took two years to construct, is on the right in this image. On the left stands the original Grady Hospital.

The new building had more then 100 rooms, all dedicated to white patients with each floor having a large open-air solarium. The old “white ward" became space for treating black patients. Moran cites an Atlanta Constitution story from 1914 that says "Black Grady" became terribly congested, lacked adequate light, and was falling apart.

Grady Hospital
White Ward at Grady, Circa 1912
Grady Hospital
Grady Hospital Operating Room, Circa 1915

The safety-net hospital treated 28,000 patients in 1914, which had quadrupled over a five-year period. An inspection by labor leaders in 1915 found that both the black and white areas of the hospital had become extremely overcrowded.
Grady Hospital
A Solarium for Children, 1930

The Solarium was located on the roof.
Grady Hospital
Annie Bess Feebeck, 1881-1964

Feebeck supervised Grady's nurses from 1910 until her retirement in 1944. Moran writes that she was known for her intense personality, which led to several clashes with members of her nursing staff.
Grady Hospital
Classroom at the White Nursing School, Circa 1930
Grady Hospital
Black Nursing School, 1931

Class of 1931 from the Grady Municipal Training School for "Colored Nurses"
Grady Hospital
White Grady Nursery, Circa 1935

While the hospital served more than 41,000 patients in 1928, that number jumped to more than 91,000 patients by 1933. According to Moran, Georgia, led by Gov. Eugene Talmadge spent only 3 cents per person for medical care and public health programs while spending 6 dollars per person on highways in 1936.
Grady Hospital
Black Grady Waiting Room, 1936

Grady did not become desegregated until June 1, 1965. Desegregation finally came as a reaction to many things, including a court order resulting from a Federal lawsuit. During that same year, President Lyndon B. Johnson created Medicaid and Medicare, two federal healthcare programs that also transformed Grady in the decades that followed.
Grady Hospital
Grady Hospital Kitchen, Circa 1937

The kitchen served patients as well as employees, preparing and serving more than one thousand meals per day, Moran writes. Today, Grady offers gourmet menu items such as wild salmon, not to mention the McDonald’s adjacent to the massive infirmary.
Grady Hospital
Operating Room at White Grady, 1938
Joeff Davis
Ellis Hotel, 2012 (formerly the Winecoff Hotel)

On Dec. 7, 1946, the Winecoff Hotel (now the Ellis hotel) housed 280 guests, holiday shoppers, and moviegoers eager to see Disney’s Song of the South. Around 3 a.m., an elevator operator detected smoke near the fifth floor and notified the other employees. Three floors were already ablaze. The reputedly fireproof hotel had no fire escapes, fire doors, sprinkler or alarm system.

Firefighters’ ladders could only reach the eighth floor of the 15-story building, so many guests attempted to escape through their windows by making ropes out of bed sheets or risking a jump. A Georgia Tech student won a Pulitzer Prize for his photo of a woman leaping from the 11th floor. She survived the fall, despite breaking her back, pelvis, and both legs. In total, 119 died of smoke inhalation, being burned alive, or fatally falling onto the sidewalks and alleys. At the time, it was the deadliest fire in United States history and led to extensive rewriting of national fire safety codes.

Nearly all of the fire’s victims were taken to Grady.
Joeff Davis
First Patient Transferred to the New Grady Hospital, January 27, 1958

The new Grady Memorial Hospital, which is the same building used today, took four years to build and contained two of everything in order to keep the races separate. According to Moran, the new building eventually covered more than 25 acres and had over 1,000 beds, 17 operating rooms, 10 delivery rooms. It cost $26 million to build.

That year, 7,713 babies were born in the massive public hospital.
Grady Hospital
The Transfer of Pediatric Patients to the New Grady Hospital, 1958
Grady Hospital
The Transfer of Pediatric Patients to the New Grady Hospital, 1958
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