Friday, January 6, 2017

A 'Hospital' as Big as a City

Detroit Free Press, March 15, 1953 (enlarge)
The fact that Eloise had 7,300 more beds than other area hospitals or that interns were turned away in droves while other facilities struggled to fill their quotas didn't belie its enormity. The facility was more or less a small city onto itself. Add to that the staff of 2,300 doctors, nurses, police officers, firemen, janitors, bakers, cooks, farmers and just about any other position you can think up and its population was almost 10,000 in 1953.

While much of the article is a general rehashing of common knowledge about Eloise there are a few details of specification added to its history. The main one that stuck out to me was that they employed a 15 man police force. While security at a hospital is a given I just assumed that the county itself provided officers or that they were security guards. Maybe they were simply county deputies. Whichever way there was also a small jail that consisted of extra hospital rooms that were fitted with bars.

Another notable thing is the auditorium which featured movies twice a week as provided by loans from The Detroit Film Exchange. On Sundays the theater was turned into a church.

On the agricultural side the list of produce farmed included apples, peaches, pears, tomatoes, green and wax beans, red beets and carrots which provided fresh fruits and vegetables as well as canning stock while the greenhouse allowed for cut flowers throughout the hospital.

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