By Mary Sheldon
President, Hernando Historical Museum Assoc., Inc.
Dr. Sheldon Stringer, Sr. lived in the house now named for him and for the builder, John May. Like many small town physicians, Dr. Stringer delivered babies on a regular basis. Dr. Stringer had learned of the French invention of the device used to care for premature babies. Developed by an obstetrician and used in Paris in the late 1800’s, the infant incubator was not popular with mainstream doctors in this country. Babies in incubators were actually on display in Coney Island, New York freak shows and the incubators were considered to be nonscientific. Dr. Stringer worked to change that viewpoint by writing papers and making addresses to medical societies. The example of an early incubator on display at the May-Stringer Museum uses a light bulb to provide heat for the newborn. By encouraging the use of infant incubators, a small town doctor like Dr. Stringer, no doubt, saved the lives of many premature babies.
The Museums are open!
The May-Stringer: Tours Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 3pm - 352-799-0129
The 1885 Depot: Tours Wednesday, Friday & Saturday Noon - 3pm - 352-799-4766
The Countryman One Room Schoolhouse: Tours Saturday Noon - 3pm - 352-515-3054 or 630-464-2313