In 1903 Dr. Martin Couney—who may not have actually been a trained medical doctor—brought neonatal incubators to Coney Island. The use of incubators had not yet gained widespread acceptance by mainstream medicine, and Couney's exhibit offered a chance of survival for premature infants. He charged 25 cents to those interested in viewing the preemies so parents would not have to pay for the medical care being offered. He opened his exhibit in Luna Park in 1903, and also brought his incubators to a few World's Fairs, including the 1939 New York World's Fair—you can see photos from that exhibit above.

According to Deadline, a film based on Couney's true story is in the works, and is tentatively titled Dreamland. Bruce Nash is heading the project, and told the outlet he's been passionate about bringing the story to film since he first heard about it 15 years ago—"There are things that you do for business and there are things that you do that are just worth doing."

They also note that Couney saved thousands of babies during his time at the amusement park, offering this background:

Couney had introduced the first premature baby incubators to America, but was initially shunned by the medical community, which led to the creation of one of the amusement park’s most famous exhibits. Couney charged gawkers so that parents wouldn’t have to pay medical expenses and to fund his efforts to provide care for babies deemed untreatable.

Medical professionals rebuked his unorthodox approach and sought to close down the exhibit, especially when Dreamland went up in flames in the 1911 Coney Island fire. The babies were saved from the fire by Coney Island’s “human marvels” — the people society and amusement parks labeled freaks. Ultimately, Couney prevailed upon the medical establishment and forced hospitals to accept the incubators nationwide.

Claire Prentice, who wrote Miracle at Coney Island: How a Sideshow Doctor Saved Thousands of Babies and Transformed American Medicine, says Couney "had long been regarded by desperate parents as a savior, one who offered medical help to babies written off as 'weaklings' by mainstream medicine." (He ran the exhibit for decades; incubators were not brought into hospitals until the 1950s.) She has also noted, in this Smithsonian article, that his exhibit at Coney Island was not portrayed "as a frivolous sideshow spectacle, but as an invaluable medical facility [and] lifesaving station."

One of the babies he saved, Lucille Horn, went on to live until the age of 96, only dying earlier this year. NPR reported on her life and death in February, noting that she only weighed 2 lbs when she was brought to Coumey—"They didn't have any help for me at all," Horn said, "it was just: You die because you didn't belong in the world."