During the late 1800s and early 1900s, physician Martin Couney held incubator exhibits to demonstrate the efficacy of infant incubators throughout the US and Europe. At his exhibits, Couney demonstrated that isolating premature infants in an incubator ward could significantly decrease premature infant mortality and increased the use of incubators in the US.

Etienne Stephane Tarnier was a physician who worked with premature infants in France during the nineteenth century. He worked at the Maternité Port-Royal in Paris, France, a hospital for poor pregnant women. Tarnier developed and introduced prototypes of infant incubators to the Maternité in 1881. Tarnier's incubators became standard in neonatal care, especially for premature infants, enabling doctors to save many such infants that previously would have died.

In the nineteenth century, obstetricians in Europe began to construct devices to incubate infants in increasingly controlled environments. The infant incubator is a medical device that maintains stable conditions and a germ free environment for premature infants born before the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy. Records show that physicians had used infant incubators since 1835. However, Jean-Louis-Paul Denuce, a physician who worked in Bordeaux, France, first published about incubator technology in 1857. Carl Crede released his incubator model in Germany in 1860 and Stephane Tarnier further developed the model in 1884. The infant incubator technology provides a stable environment for premature infants and helps keep them alive.

Pierre Constant Budin worked in France to improve the lives of newborns and their mothers during the late nineteenth century. Budin stressed the importance of proper nutrition in infants and educated new mothers on breastfeeding and infant care. Budin established infant care facilities and created a nutritional check-up system for infants. Budin helped design early artificial nipples, breast pumps, and incubators for premature newborns. He also began the practice of consulting with new mothers after they gave birth, redefining the roles of obstetricians.

Alexandre Lion established incubator charities in the late 1890s in France to promote his infant incubator. Lion’s infant incubators kept premature infants warm and improved their chances of survival, but were expensive and not widely used. In order to promote his new technology, Lion displayed incubators that carried premature infants in storefronts and at fairs and expositions throughout Europe. After the public began paying admission to view the infants and incubators, the expositions became incubator charities. Admission fees went directly to the care of the premature infants. The charities treated roughly 8,000 premature infants and greater than 7,500 of them survived. The charities in France occurred in Paris, Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lyon. The charities in Belgium were located in Liège and Brussels.

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