Meghan Crnic

Ph.D. Candidate
Department of History and Sociology of Science
University of Pennsylvania

2011 to 2012
Dissertation Research Fellow

The Salubrious Sea: Marine Hospitals, the Environment, and the Health of American Urban Children, 1870-1930

Abstract. Pediatric marine hospitals emerged as a trans-Atlantic phenomenon in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These hospitals provided a space in which physicians, nurses, and reformers attempted to rebuild children into strong citizens through interactions with middle-class medical professionals and American nature. They also became environments in which indigent, urban parents negotiated the health-care of their children. This dissertation – the first to take pediatric marine hospitals as its central subject – explores why and how American reformers and physicians came to see the seashore as a salubrious solution to the emerging social problem of the sick, urban child. Pediatric seashore hospitals provide a window into the lived health experiences of indigent urban children and their families, the continuity of enviro-medical therapies and theories, and the contested terrain of authority, identity and citizenship at the turn of the twentieth century. Read Meghan's report on her PACHS-sponsored research here.