The Bellevue Ambulance

This is one of the horse-drawn ambulances that were in use at Bellevue Hospital in New York (462 First Avenue), since "June, 1869, eight years ahead of any other hospital in New York City"1. Colonel Edward Barry Dalton, a surgeon in the US Army, after the Civil War was appointed the Sanitary Superintendent of the newly formed Metropolitan Board of Health and had the idea of establishing an ambulance corps in the city similar to the one he previously established for the Army. Bellevue was the first hospital to put his idea in practice.


The ambulances were initially "equipped with a box beneath the driver's seat, containing 'a quart flask of brandy, two tourniquets, a half-dozen bandages, a half-dozen small sponges, some splint material, pieces of old blankets for padding, strips of various lenghts with buckles, and a two-ounce vial of persulphate of iron'"2.

  • Photos by Francesca Grimaldi (May 2016), courtesy of Claudia Canino

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