Lawrence Gartner, MD, FAAP and Carol Gartner, PhD Pediatric History Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
345 Park Blvd
Itasca, IL 60143
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Title: Silverman and Butterfield Infant Incubator Research Collection
Dates: 1915 – 2004 (Bulk 1967 – 1992)
Physical Description: 2.5 boxes
Language(s): English, German
Summary: Correspondence, notes, clippings, photocopies, photographs, negatives and lecture slides from research on the history of the infant incubator conducted by Dr. William A. Silverman and Dr. L. Joseph Butterfield.


‚ÄčAdministrative Information

Provenance: The primary group of records was transferred from the Smithsonian Institution to the Pediatric History Center by request of Dr. Silverman in 1994. The second group of records was donated by Dr. Butterfield's widow in 2004.

Information about Access: The collection is open without restriction.
Ownership & Copyright: This collection is the physical property of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Copyright may belong to the authors and photographer, their legal heirs and assigns.

Processing Notes: Over the years the collections were intermingled and a clear origin for some records is difficult to discern. Formal processing occurred in 2018.

Biographical Note

William A. Silverman, MD, FAAP:
Dr. Silverman graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine in 1942. As faculty at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and pediatrician at Babies Hospital of Columbia-Presbyterian for 22 years he dedicated himself to premature infant care and earned himself the title "father of neonatal care." He then returned to California to serve as Chief of the Perinatology Section at Children's Hospital, San Francisco and adjunct professor at University of California, San Francisco. Regarded by many as one of the pioneer neonatologist, his research led to the determination that high levels of oxygen in incubators led to retrolental fibroplasia in premature infants. With a focus on controlled clinical trials he authored numerous articles and books. His 1979 article "Incubator-Baby Side Shows" in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, encouraged numerous scholars to further research Martin Couney. This pioneering article is still frequently cited.

L. Joseph Butterfield, MD, FAAP:
Dr. Butterfield received his MD from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1955. He served the Children's Hospital, Denver and the University of Colorado Medical Center for 34 years. Considered a pioneer of modern neonatology, Dr. Butterfield established regional centers for perinatal care as well as the Denver Perinatal Society. He led a task force which was instrumental in creating a commemorative US postage stamp in honor of Virginia Apgar. In the 1990s Dr. Butterfield turned an informal study group with a focus on Martin Couney into the AAP Perinatal Section Ad Hoc Committee on Perinatal History. The Committee published "The Martin Couney Story Revisited" in Pediatrics August 1997.


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