Beth Allen

Beth Allen recounts her origins as an "incubator baby" in Dr. Martin Couney's sideshow

Interviewer:
Interviewee:
Beth Allen
Interview Date:
June 28 2007

Languages

Beth Allen was born 3 months premature in 1941, weighing 1lb 10oz. Desperate to save her and with few other options - hospitals of the day had no facilities for premature infants - her parents placed her in the care of Dr. Martin Couney, a neonatal pioneer largely responsible for the now widespread use of incubators. Couney was also a controversial figure, a physician outside the mainstream who for decades operated his neonatal care facility as a 10 cent sideshow in Coney Island. In this interview, Beth Allen recounts her origins as an "incubator baby" and her family's relationship to Dr. Couney.