Lillian Wald

portrait of Lillian Wald

Lillian Wald, 1893. Jewish Women's Archive.

Lillian Wald (1867-1940) is seen as a pioneer in the medical field because of the progress she made as a nurse. Lillian was a graduate from the New York Hospital Training School for Nurses, and later founded the Henry Street Settlement in 1893. Lillian Wald took notice of how bad circumstances were for immigrants living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and saw how fast illness was spreading through tenements. In an attempt to thwart some of the rapid spread of disease, Wald began to pay house visits to the immigrants. In 1893, Wald founded the Henry Street Settlement which was an institution where poor immigrants could receive health care. The settlement gave nurses a new purpose and Lillian Wald received a lot of recognition for her breakthrough idea.

Nurses on Blackwell's Island

Nursing Students at a Patient's Bedside on Blackwell's Island

Nursing students at a patient’s bedside on Blackwell’s Island, 1916. Orrin Sage Wightman Collection. New-York Historical Society Library.

This image relates to Lillian Wald's time period because it depicts nurses surrounding a hospital bed. The photo was taken in 1916 on Blackwell’s Island which was an institution similar to The Henry Street Settlement. In 1916 things were looking up for nurses in America because of the number of institutions being built. This was thanks to Lillian Wald who started a revolution of sorts in the medical world.