Pediatric hospitals began popping up in the United States in the 1850's. The first children's hospital was Nursery and Child's Hospital in New York City which opened in 1854. Following the opening of this hospital, a children's hospital in Philadelphia, Chicago, and an asylum hospital opened the following years.
Early children's hospitals opened as a result of the change in medicine over the late 19th century in America. The opening of children's hospitals began as a result of coalitions between physicians who wanted to improve childrens' lives. Many elite physicians believed that poverty, disease, and morality were closely linked with the quality of life and that hospitals needed to provide moral values as well as offer quality medical care.
By the time the Great Depression rolled around, there was quite the diversity of hospitals. Pediatric care was fairly unified and children from all parts of life received up-to-date medicale and surgical care. Young medical students pursuing pediatrics learned the latest medical and surgical techniques to provide the best care possible. No child was denied the best medical care whether they were rich or poor, upper class or middle class.