Homer G. Phillips Nursing Cap & Dress


In the early twentieth century, Missouri’s hospitals engaged in discriminatory practices. Frustrated by lack of care and educational opportunities, Black leaders sought to establish racially segregated facilities to meet their community’s needs. In 1937, Homer G. Phillips Hospital opened its doors to African American students and patients in St. Louis.  Located at 2601 Whittier Street, the hospital became a pillar of the Black community.

Lula Hall’s nursing school cap and uniform represent the history of Missouri’s segregated hospitals. In 1956, nursing students, like Lula Hall, could be found proudly wearing their white cap and blue dress with white pinafores, cuffs, and collar as they tended to patients at Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Her uniform stands as a reminder of the many Black women who were able to earn a career in nursing due to the opening of the segregated Homer G. Phillips Hospital.

Object Details

Categories: Civil Rights, Education, Health, Science & Technology

Creator: Julian Kay Company (New York City, NY)

Date: 1956

Subject: Nursing, Nursing schools, Healthcare, Hospitals

Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society

Accession Number: 2016-072-0001, 2016-072-0002

Copy Request: Transmission or reproduction of items on these pages beyond those allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the Missouri Historical Society: 314-746-4510

Rights: The text and images contained in this collection are intended for research and educational use only. Duplication of any of these images for commercial use without express written consent is expressly prohibited. Contact the Missouri Historical Society's Permissions Office at 314-746-4511 to obtain written consent.

County: St. Louis City

Region: St. Louis Metro

Type: Textile

Latitude: 38.614904

Longitude: -90.257630

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Homer G. Phillips: Transforming Missouri Medicine

In the first half of the twentieth century, segregation and discriminatory practices kept Missouri’s Black residents from accessing equitable medical education and healthcare. After years of lobbying for adequate hospitals, in 1937, St. Louis welcomed a state-of-the-art medical center to serve the Black community. The construction of Homer G. Phillips Hospital represented a transformational moment …

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