Pennsylvania Hospital

Founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin.

800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone Number:


Visiting Hours:

-General Units: 11am to 8pm.
-Critical Care Units: Noon to 6 pm, 8pm to 9pm.
-Skilled Care: 24 hour visiting.
-Psychiatric Unit Fourth Floor: Monday through Friday, 6:30pm to 8:30 pm. Saturday 11am to 8 pm.
-Maternity Floors: 11am to 8pm.


Take a look at Pennsylvania Hospital throughout History:

Christ Healing the Sick in the Temple. This painting of “Christ Healing the Sick in the Temple” was painted by Benjamin West in 1815.
The painting by Benjamin West-- Christ Healing the Sick in the Temple-- is located in the gallery of the Pennsylvania Hospital's first building. The painting is about the size of a wall!



An Interview with Stacy Teeples.

Meet Stacy Teeples:
Stacy Teeples works at Pennsylvania Hospital. In an interview with her, we asked her several questions regarding her position and the Pennsylvania Hospital itself.

Hello. My name is Christine Ho and I'm with my partner Danielle Strassburg. We're from the Upper Merion High School, and we're doing research on the history of the Pennsylvania Hospital. Can you please describe your position here at Pennsylvania Hospital?
I am the curator lead archaist. I do a whole bunch of things such as taking care of all the old artifacts-- from things all the way to manuscripts form 1751, when the hospital started-- patient information, overseeing rare book collections, and artwork artifacts.

Wow. I assume that your work is very stressful.
Well, all work is stressful. I am basically a one person team.

What is your educational background as a curator lead archaist?
I have a bachelors and masters degree in history.

What made you choose working at Pennsylvania Hospital?
I thought that it was an interesting opportunity. The hospital is a unique collection that you find. If you have an interest in medical history, its a place where there are rich opportunities.

Right, because it is the nation's first hospital.
Yes, the artifacts we have here date back from many past centuries.

With rich opportunities, what do you enjoy most about being the curator lead archaist?
Diversity. There is always something different and new that allows me to have a hand in several things, whether it is working on exhibits, or with researchers that come in, there are a lot of different things that are within this one job.

Where does the Pennsylvania Hospital get its funding from?
Pennsylvania Hospital is non-profit. It is a part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The hospital applies for grants from both federal and state, as well as private donations. If we need funding to do something, we seek that money through the grant opportunity. There is not an operational budget from the hospital. The institution mainly supports itself. Often times there are donations from wealthy people.

As such a historical site, how many people visit the Pennsylvania Hospital yearly?
There are about 6,000 people who want to come into take a tour of the Pine building, which is the historic section. The 6,000 people who visit include tourists, school groups, conventions, etcetera. They visit all the center buildings, historic library, historic amphitheater-- which was the old operating room-- the statue of Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Physic's house, the herbal garden, and many other sites.

What exhibits attract visitors?
Here at the hospital, we have several things on display that are just on interest items. In December, we will have a grand opening with sixteen anatomical drawings by a medical drawer that traces history from colonial to the modern era of medicine.

From research, I understand that May 11th, the Pennsylvania Hospital's birthday, recently past. What did the hospital do to celebrate?
Yes, there is cake and ice cream every year on May 11th to celebrate the opening.

That is very thoughtful. What are some yearly events held at Pennsylvania Hospital?
We host a history of women's health conference, which is my personal favorite. I actually run this. We bring in scholars from all over the country and have an interesting day of dicussion around this history of women's health that range from colonial to modern issues.

How do you contribute in carrying out this exhibit?
I do everything. I write a grant and get the funding to have other people brought in.

Oh, right. You are the one-person-team. Can you describe the process of creating a new exhibit?
Right now will be the fifth year that we are running the history of women's health conference. For this conference, we have a committe, send out a call for papers, collect submissions that come in, decide who we want to invite, and invite them. This varies for exibits because it depends whether it's a big or small exhibit. We have a committiee and write in captions, decide what we want to display in the cases, and make sure that what is being displayed is suitable.

How do you acquire new artifacts? Is there money allocated for the purchase of additional artifacts?
Generally people will donate. However, we have a very strict donation policy. Since space is limited, we are very preticular about what we take in. We only accept items relatable to Pennsylvania Hospital. Sometimes people buy historical medical supplies from auctions and sell them to us, which is also how we could get artifacts-- from going to the auctions ourselves.

How is the Pennsylvania Hospital advertised to attract local and travelling visitors?
Our histroic collections are advertised in terms of tours, which are advertised in brochures. We have a website which displays all of our information in it.

How can internships help young people with their future career endeavors?
Personaly, I am a huge fan of internships. I have done two of them myself. Internships allow students to assess what they want to do and what they don't want to do. It can open up doors, in a sense. When I was an intern at the National Archive in [Washington] D.C., a whole world of archives opened up to me. I have always wanted to be an educator, but I was turned away because I did not want to stand in front of a classroom. With this internship, I saw that I could be an educator in a different way. Internships also offer great connections to people.

I take it that you are fond of a "hands on" experience.
Yes, internships help you find people who are valuable to you throughout your career.

Describe how technology is currently being utilized by Pennsylvania Hospital.
Here we use technology in a sense that we are able to conserve documents and artifacts and whatever we have in collection. We also keep a web site present with information about the hospital. I think that the website is a great way to reach out to people. Also, we now have cell phone tours, with a suggested donation of 4 dollars, where people will receive a guided tour, but on their cell phones. It is a way that people can stay and listen to the prompt again, offering flexibility to individuals.

Cell phone tours? How does that work?
You dial a number into your cell phone and a response tells you where to go throughout the hospital's campus. It's especially convenient for visitors who cannot keep up with tour guides. It also gives you all the time you want or need to look at artifacts at your own pace.

How long have cell phone tours been around?
Oh, it's been used for years at other sites worth visiting, but the hospital has only been using it for a year so far.

Does the hospital partner with any other landmarks or foundations?
On occasion. It depends on what the program is. We have a program that is a "Learn to Grow" program, designed for school age peope who learn about herbal medicine. That is when we team up with the Physic's House.

What role do you think public history plays in American Culture?
Public history is a connection to the past. People enjoy learning about the past but when they connect it to something of the past, it sparks an interest in history. People are resistant to change, so looking at the past. It is our human nature to think that what happened in the past is better than what we have... "Crime rate is so much worse now than what it was in the past," but it really wasn't. "Oh, the family was stronger in the past," well yes and no, there were complications. Nothing is as easy or as simple as people want to make it seem. History is complex, because people are complex.

Why do you think public history/preservation should be better funded and emphasized in our society?
We are a disposable society and we need to have a little respect for things that are significant to who we have become. In terms of preserving buildings, structures and programs, that is a reflection of how we view our society. The fact that we make things disposable, shows that we think what is young and fresh is better but we can LEARN from historic things. These old buildings, the building I'm in right now was built in 1755. It is still functioning. It has survived running water and electricity inside. Solid construction so its still here. Today the craftsmanship is not there because there is a lack of respect to how things were built in the past.
Teeples, Stacy. Telephone interview. 13 May 2009.

Public History

Pennsylvania Hospital has both guided Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Self-guided tours Thursdays and Fridays from 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Call 215-829-3370 for information on, or about scheduling tours, or go to

Did You Know?

  • The hospital logo is based on the Good Samaritan parable.
  • The hospital was founded to take care of the "sick poor" and the insane.
  • The first patient was admitted in 1752.
  • The hospital has had fire insurance longer than any other building in the country.
  • Pennsylvania Hospital is the first hospital that treated insane people humanely.
  • In ROCKY II, Rocky and Apollo are taken to the Pennsylvania Hospital after the Bicentennial fight.


Works Cited

Ambulance 8th Street. 16 Apr. 2009 <
2620-1_Ambulance_8th_St.jpg>Benjamin, West. Christ Healing the Sick in the Temple. 1815. Pennsylvania
Hospital, Philadelphia.
Filming Rocky. 16 Apr. 2009 <
"History of Pennsylvania Hospital." University of Pennsylvania Health System. 12
Apr. 2009 <>.
Nurses. 16 Apr. 2009 <
Pennsylvania Hospital. 16 Apr. 2009 <
"Pennsylvania Hospital." US History. 7 May 2009 <
Rocky II. United Artists, 1979.

Sitting in the Medical Library. 16 Apr. 2009 <