In­fant who sur­vived in 1920s sideshow in­cu­ba­tor dies

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM -

Lu­cille Con­lin Horn weighed barely 2 pounds when she was born, a per­ilous size for any in­fant, es­pe­cially in 1920. Doc­tors told her par­ents to hold off on a fu­neral for her twin sis­ter who had died at birth, ex­pect­ing she too would soon be gone.

But her life spanned nearly a cen­tury af­ter her par­ents put their faith in a sideshow doc­tor at Coney Is­land who put ba­bies on dis­play in in­cu­ba­tors to fund his re­search to keep them alive.

The Brook­lyn-born wo­man, who later moved to Long Is­land, died Feb. 11 at age 96, ac­cord­ing to the Hunger­ford & Clark Fu­neral Home. She had been suf­fer­ing from Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

Horn was among thou­sands of pre­ma­ture ba­bies who were treated in the early 20th cen­tury by Dr. Martin Couney. He was a pi­o­neer in the use of in­cu­ba­tors who sought ac­cep­tance for the tech­nol­ogy by show­ing it off on car­ni­val mid­ways, fairs and other public venues. He never ac­cepted money from the tiny ba­bies’ par­ents but in­stead charged oglers ad­mis­sion to see the ba­bies strug­gling for life.

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