Babies are precious. When a baby is born prematurely and it has to fight for its survival in order to experience this beautiful world, it wrenches the parents’ hearts. An incubator comes to the aid of these babies and one can’t thank this wonderful invention enough!

It is extremely heartening to think of the time when no such device was available.

In 1880, a French obstetrician, Etienne Stephane Tarnier was inspired by chicken incubators. He took the help of a poultry keeper, Odile Martin and together they created a similar incubator which was best suited for human babies.

This incubator was simple in design. It had two chambers, one above the other. The premature baby was kept in the upper chamber which had an opening to assist the baby’s breathing. The lower chamber had an oil lamp to heat water, thus maintaining a warm temperature in the upper chamber.


Incubators have seen many improvements since and those available today are fully equipped with medical equipment necessary for the baby’s survival and growth. They have helped in saving the lives of millions of babies born prematurely around the world.


  1. 1001 Inventions That Changed The World – Incubator, Pg. 418

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