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Postcards from Hartford

Elizabeth Park

The original buildings of Hartford Hospital, in an undated postcard. The city had no public hospital when a steam boiler at the Fales and Gray Car Works exploded on March 2, 1854. Nine people died immediately; 12 more died later; 50 were injured. What happened next was civic action at its best. "Hartford's citizenry was appalled at the city's inadequate facilities for caring for a large number of injured people," according to historian Glenn Weaver. "Two months to the day after the explosion, a public meeting voted in favor of a public hospital, and before the end of the month the Hartford Hospital was organized." (Quoted from "Hartford: An Illustrated History of Connecticut's Capital.")