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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 14, 2002

A HUMAN INCUBATOR.

Author Affiliations
 

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2002;288(6):776. doi:10.1001/jama.288.6.776

A Kentucky farmer, Filson by name, lay sick with a fever, so high, the account goes,1 that it notably heated the whole bed coverings. He was the breadwinner of the family, but his wife was a resourceful woman. Seeing her husband's energies going altogether to waste in uselessly raising the local temperature of his immediate surroundings, the thought occurred to her of a way of utilizing them to her and her family's profit. Borrowing some four dozen eggs she placed them in the bed, securing them from danger of breakage by some simple arrangement, and in due time hatched out in this novel incubator, 44 chickens, to the great delight of the father and the family and herself. Perhaps the emotional condition influenced the disordered heat centers, for it is said with the appearance of the newly-hatched brood the fever subsided, at least this is an allowable post hoc conjecture. Continued fever is not a pleasant matter, as a rule, but the woman of the above story, which is given as a veritable history, deserves credit for her ingenious utilization of adversity and the conclusion certainly is cheerful. Father and chickens are reported as crowing over their outcome.

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