Nurses – 1920 Bucyrus Health Services

A company medical facility was built as part of the main campus factory expansion of 1919. The machine shop and steam engine assembly floor that were in what is now the Bucyrus Club were
was also moved to the east side of the tracks that same year. The next year witnessed the
opening of the first company hospital.

According to the 1920 company announcement, the goal and purpose of the hospital would be:
“To be staffed with a doctor and three trained nurses in constant attendance. First, to care for
the men who are injured. No matter how slight the injury, you are directed to report. Second,
to dispense, free of charge, medicine, and expert advice in the event of sickness in the plant.
Third, to render assistance to the families of employees who desire it. This service is open to
you and your family without charge and it is hoped that you will avail yourself of it. Don’t be
backward in asking for help. You owe it to yourself and your family.”

This was company benefit certainly ahead of its time, especially when workers across the
country were being treated poorly by other large companies and just ahead of the great
depression. The photos show the 1919 Bucyrus Company nurse crew of three. The two nurses
on the left in plain white uniforms were “occupational nurses” who served in the factory
helping workers. The nurse on the right with the colored dress (it would have been light blue)
was the “community nurse” who visited workers and their families in their homes. These ladies
were the modern-day equivalent of PA’s, diagnosing, dispensing medicines, and caring for the sick and injured in the factory and local homes. The doctor in the photo is depicted in the new medical office.

Note the big cigar in his left hand.
In 1921 the company health program added a dental clinic where service was available at a
modest charge. An interesting look into how Bucyrus cared about their employees – very
progressive for the 1920’s!