Coney Island's preemie sideshow

In the early part of the 20th century, premature babies were exhibited as part of the parade of human curiosities on Coney Island. The showman, Dr. Marting A. Couney, was inducted into the new Coney Island Hall of Fame. From the New York Times:

It cost a quarter to see the babies, and people came again and again, to coo and to gasp and say look how small, look how small. There were twins, even, George and Norma Johnson, born the day before Independence Day in 1937. They had four and a half pounds between them, appearing in the world a month too soon because Dorothy Johnson stepped off a curb wrong and went into labor.

All those quarters bought a big house at Sea Gate for Dr. Martin A. Couney, the man who put the Coney Island babies on display. He died broken and forgotten in 1950 at 80 years old. The doctor was shunned as an unseemly showman in his time, even as he was credited with popularizing incubators and saving thousands of babies. History did not know what to do; he was inspired and single-minded, distasteful and heroic, ultimately confounding.

Link (Thanks, Dr. Maz!)