World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pennsylvania Hospital

Article Id: WHEBN0000879734
Reproduction Date:

Title: Pennsylvania Hospital  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Benjamin Franklin, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Francis Folger Franklin, Economy of Philadelphia, 1750s
Collection: 1752 Establishments in the Thirteen Colonies, American Civil War Hospitals, Buildings and Structures Completed in 1756, Hospital Buildings Completed in the 18Th Century, Hospitals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Historical Marker Significations, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Teaching Hospitals in the United States, University of Pennsylvania, Washington Square West, Philadelphia, World Digital Library Related
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pennsylvania Hospital

Pennsylvania Hospital by Ben Franklin
University of Pennsylvania Health System
The original building of Pennsylvania Hospital in 2013, as seen from Pine Street.
Pennsylvania Hospital is located in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Hospital
Location Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Care system Private
Hospital type Teaching Hospital
Affiliated university University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine[1]
Beds 534[2]
Founded May 11, 1751[3]
Website //
Lists Hospitals in Pennsylvania
Other links
Pennsylvania Hospital
The Pennsylvania Hospital by William Strickland (1755)
Location 800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Built December 17, 1756
Architect Samuel Rhoads[4]
Architectural style Colonial and Federal (Pine Building)
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 66000688[5]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966
Designated PHMC December 17, 1954[6]

Pennsylvania Hospital ("Pennsy")[7] is a [9] and first medical library in America.[10]

The emergency room entrance at Pennsylvania Hospital, as seen from 9th and Spruce.


  • Awards and recognition 1
  • History 2
  • Historic firsts 3
    • Historic library 3.1
    • Surgical amphitheatre 3.2
    • Physic garden 3.3
    • Maternity firsts 3.4
  • Famous physicians 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Awards and recognition

  • In 2011-2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Pennsylvania Hospital among the best in the nation for orthopedics. It was also high-performing in 10 adult specialties, including cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, ear, nose & throat, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, pulmonology, and urology.[11]
  • In 2004, a study in AARP Modern Maturity ranked Pennsylvania Hospital as one of the Top Ten Hospitals in America. The hospital received additional honors for cardiac care, cardiovascular surgeries, infectious care, knee-hip orthopaedics and pulmonary care—all five specialties are also ranked within the top 10 in the nation.[13]
  • In JCAHO's 2003 survey of the hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital received a score of 96, with no citations. Additionally, Pennsylvania Hospital received top-tier reviews from the Pennsylvania State Department of Health.[14]
  • Parts of the movie Rocky II, starring Sylvester Stallone, were filmed on the Pennsylvania Hospital campus in 1978.[15]


Pennsylvania Hospital was originally conceived in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond as an institution "for the reception and cure of the sick poor... free of charge," and was funded grace to donations of the people of Philadelphia. On September 2, 1751, Mathias Koplin donated the first plot of ground for the new hospital.[16] The first (temporary) building was opened on February 6, 1752, on High Street[17] (now Market Street). Elizabeth Gardner, a Quaker widow, was appointed Matron of the hospital. As the hospital received support of the leading families in Philadelphia, its permanence was secured.

Thomas Stretch was among the leading citizens of Philadelphia and one of the founders of Pennsylvania Hospital. He was a member of the Union Fire Company, also known as Benjamin Franklin's Bucket Brigade and a founder of the social club known as Schuylkill Fishing Company, and the Club’s first governor in 1732, re-elected annually until his death in 1765.[18] Stretch was a director of the Philadelphia Contributionship (Hand-in-Hand fire mark) from 1758 to 1761.[19][20]

In the Pennsylvania Gazette of May 29, 1755, Thomas Stretch appears as one of the largest subscribers (with Benjamin Franklin and others) to the fund for the Pennsylvania Hospital. In essence, the Stretch family and Benjamin Franklin each provided half of the original capital to found the hospital. The list of subscribers reads:

Subscriber £ Shillings
Thomas Stretch 10 0
Joseph Stretch 5 8
Isaac Stretch 10 0
Benjamin Franklin 25 0
Robert Harding 1 7

Thomas Stretch and Joseph Stretch were sons of Peter Stretch (1670-1746) and Margery Hall (1668-1746). It is likely the reference to Isaac Stretch is to Isaac Stretch (1714-1770), son of Daniel Stretch (1694-1746), another son of Peter Stretch and Margery Hall. The Stretch family were Quakers.

Joseph Stretch, mentioned above, was at this time “His Majesty’s Collector of Excise for the City and County of Philadelphia”, as may be seen from a notice in the Pennsylvania Gazette of October 28, 1756; and subsequently, in 1768, he was “His Majesty’s Collector of Customs, etc., for the Port of Philadelphia”. Robert Harding was pastor of St. Joseph's Church.[21]

In 1755, the cornerstone was laid for the East Wing of what would become the hospital's permanent location at 8th and Pine Streets. All of the patients were transferred from the temporary hospital to the permanent hospital on December 17, 1756. The first admission of a new patient occurred on the following day.[22] The site continued to grow through the years with the addition of more wings (such as the West Wing of the building which was built in 1796) and buildings, extra land and further expansion.

Pennsylvania Hospital gained a reputation as a center of innovation and medical advancement, particularly in the area of maternity. It was a teaching hospital from its very beginning, when Bond would lead rounds through what is now the east wing of the main building. In its early years it was also known for its particularly advanced and humane facilities for mentally ill patients (at a time when mental illness was very poorly understood and patients were often treated very badly). Care of the mentally ill was removed to West Philadelphia in 1841 with the construction of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, later known as The Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital. Under superintendent Thomas Story Kirkbride, the hospital developed a treatment philosophy that became the standard for care of the mentally ill in the 19th century.

In 1950, Pennsylvania Hospital was recognized for becoming more highly specialized as it established, in addition to its sophisticated maternity programs, an intensive care unit for neurological patients, a coronary care unit, an orthopaedic institute, a diabetes center, a hospice, specialized units in oncology and urology and broadened surgical programs.

The hospital has served as a center for treating the war wounded. Patients were brought to the hospital for treatment in the Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and the Spanish American War, and units from the hospital were sent abroad to treat wounded in World War I and in World War II (to the Pacific theater).

The seal of the hospital, chosen by Franklin and Bond, incorporates the story of the Good Samaritan; the phrase "Take Care of Him and I will repay Thee" is used on it.

In 1997, Pennsylvania Hospital's Board of Managers made the decision to merge with the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The large health system helps to support the formerly stand-alone hospital with its network of resources.

In 2001, Pennsylvania Hospital celebrated its 250th anniversary.

Historic firsts

Historic library

In 1762, the first book for the hospital's medical library was donated by [9]

Surgical amphitheatre

The top floor of Pennsylvania Hospital is the home of the nation's oldest surgical amphitheatre. The amphitheatre served as the operating room from 1804 through 1868. Surgeries were performed on sunny days between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm since there was no electricity at the time. The surgical amphitheatre seats 180 and with those standing, up to 300 people might be present during any given surgical operation.[24]

Physic garden

The Physic Garden is the jewel in the crown that makes up the Pennsylvania Hospital gardens. The Board of Managers first proposed the Physic Garden in 1774 to provide physicians with ingredients for medicines. The idea was approved, but financial circumstances intervened and the project was delayed for two centuries. In 1976, the planting of the garden was the bicentennial project of the Philadelphia Committee of the Garden Club of America and the Friends of Pennsylvania Hospital. Located in front of the Pine Building's West Wing, the garden has plants that were used for medicines in the 18th century. Once used to stimulate the heart, ease toothaches, relieve indigestion and cleanse wounds, now their shaded respite provides healing of a more spiritual kind for patients and visitors alike.[9]

Maternity firsts

Pennsylvania Hospital is noted for its many firsts in the area of women’s medicine, especially in maternity. In 1803 the hospital established a "lying-in" (or maternity) department. This lasted until 1854 when obstetrics and gynecology took a 75-year break at the hospital. The specialties were reinstated in 1929 with the opening of the Woman’s Building (now the Spruce Building) which sported 150 adult beds, 80 bassinets, 2 operating rooms, a series of labor and delivery rooms, and outpatient clinics. It was considered "one of the most modern hospital buildings in the country" especially at a time when women’s medicine was not thought to be very important and most births were still done at home. This was followed in 1978 with the first Antenatal Testing Unit (ATU) in the region and in 1985 when the first GIFT (Gamete intrafallopian transfer) pregnancy in Philadelphia was achieved at the hospital. In 1987 Pennsylvania Hospital had two obstetrical firsts: the first birthing suite in a tertiary care hospital in the state was opened, and the first gestational carrier and egg donor programs in the Delaware Valley were begun to complement the hospital's existing fertility services. In 1995 the hospital was the first in the region to achieve 1,000 live births from in-vitro fertilization, GIFT and other assisted reproductive technologies.

Famous physicians

See also


  1. ^ "Pennsylvania Hospital Stats & Services". US News & World Report. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Pennsylvania Hospital History: Historical Timeline". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  3. ^ a b c "Pennsylvania Hospital History: Historical Timeline - 1751-1800". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2013-11-28. 
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Hospital".  
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  6. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ "About Us | Pennsylvania Hospital". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  8. ^ Williams, William Henry (1976). America's First Hospital: The Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751-1841. Haverford House.  
  9. ^ a b c d "Visitor Information for Pennsylvania Hospital". University of Pennsylvania. Penn Medicine. 
  10. ^ Weise, F (Jan 2004). "Being there: the library as place.". Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA 92 (1): 6–13.  
  11. ^ U.S. News & World Report: America's Best Hospitals
  12. ^ Philadelphia Magazine: Top Doctors
  13. ^ "Feel Great. Save Money. Have Fun". AARP The Magazine. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Miscellaneous Photographs". The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Penn Medicine. 
  16. ^ Lemay, J. A. Leo (2008). The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 3: Soldier, Scientist, and Politician, 1748-1757. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 272.  
  17. ^ Morton, Thomas G.; Frank Woodbury (1897). The History of the Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751-1895. Philadelphia: Times Printing House. p. 32. 
  18. ^ A History of the Schuylkill Fishing Company of the State in Schuylkill 1732-1888. Philadelphia: The State in Schuylkill. 1889. p. 5. 
  19. ^ "Tick Tock, the Tall Case Clock". The Graeme Park Gazette (January–March, 2007): 5. 2007. 
  20. ^ "Philadelphia Contributionship". Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, 1758-1761. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia." (Vol III, 1888-1891). pp. 196–8. 
  22. ^ Morton, Thomas G.; Frank Woodbury (1897). The History of the Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751-1895. Philadelphia: Times Printing House. p. 42. 
  23. ^ a b "An Initiative". The Friends of the Historical Library. University of Pennsylvania. 
  24. ^ Pennsylvania Hospital: Virtual Tour: Surgical Amphitheatre
  25. ^ Noble, Holcomb B (February 25, 2013). "C. Everett Koop, Forceful U.S. Surgeon General, Dies at 96". New York Times. 
  26. ^ "BioTime, Inc. Appoints Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. to its Board of Directors". BusinessWire Press Release. November 9, 2011. 

Further reading

  • Graham, Kristen A. A History of the Pennsylvania Hospital (The History Press, 2008)
  • Morton, Thomas G. and Frank Woodbury. The History of the Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751-1895 (1897). online
  • Tomes, Nancy. "‘Little World of Our Own’: The Pennsylvania Hospital Training School for Nurses, 1895–1907." Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences (1978) 33#4 pp: 507-530.
  • Williams, William H. "The" Industrious Poor" and the Founding of the Pennsylvania Hospital." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1973): 431-443. in JSTOR
  • Williams, William H. America's First Hospital: The Pennsylvania Hospital, 1751-1841 (1976); 186pp; scholarly history

External links

  • Pennsylvania Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Health System
  • Bloodless Medicine & Surgery Center, Pennsylvania Hospital

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.