The Floating Hospital
July 19, 1875 - Today was the maiden voyage of a floating hospital called the Emma Abbott. It was named after the ship's chief sponsor, an opera singer who wanted to make sure that New York City's poorest children and mothers were able to get medical services.
In the 14 years that the Emma Abbott steamed around Manhattan, it cared for over 900,000 patients. She was the first of many floating hospitals to service needy New Yorkers.