Throwback Thursday: A 1950s look at Memorial Hospital of Natrona County

By Kristy Bleizeffer Mar 1, 2018

The polio epidemic of 1952 was among the worst outbreaks in our country’s history. Memorial Hospital purchased a negative-pressure chamber, or an Iron Lung, to enable paralyzed patients to breathe and kept polio patients in a separate ward to prevent sp

The 1950s were a time of great expansion for Memorial Hospital of Natrona County (as the hospital was then named.) 

The Second Street addition opened on Dec. 15, 1955. It included telephone wires to patient rooms for the first time, a third-floor surgical area, a ground-floor kitchen, air conditioning, a pneumatic tube system and piped oxygen. It also allowed for more private patient rooms, replacing general wards with several patients in open floor plans.

By 1958, the hospital had 242 beds, 300 volunteers, 350 employees and a medical staff with 46 physicians and 17 dentists.

Here's a peek inside the 50s-era hospital through historical photos taken at the time.

The expansion allowed for more private patient rooms like this one. Cost was $22 per night in 1958.
The third-floor surgical area and operating rooms were considered state-of-the-art for the time.
A nurse stands over a patient in our 50s-era pediatric ward. Pictures inspired by popular nursery rhymes decorated the walls.

Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D.