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Clara Barton’s Ambulance

National Museum of American History, Landmark Object: Clara Barton’s Red Cross Ambulance, 1898.

After the [Spanish-American War] war, the Red Cross sent this ambulance to Clara Barton for use at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, the organization’s headquarters and distribution center for relief supplies.

As the founding director of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton was no stranger to battle but she loathed it. “The war side of war could never have called me to the field,” she explained. “I hate it. Only the desire to soften some of its hardships and allay some of its miseries ever induced me . . . dare its pestilent and unholy breath.” —National Museum of American History

The International Red Cross was organized on this date in 1863, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Libraries has many interesting items in its collections, on Clara Barton and the history of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross; a history of this remarkable international movement in the interest of humanity, , Washington, D.C., American national Red cross [c1898], by Clara Barton …

Red Cross ambulance of 1898 in the Museum of History and Technology [by] Herbert R. Collins, Washington : Smithsonian Institution; [for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Gov't Print. Off.], 1965.

History of the Red Cross. The treaty of Geneva, and its adoption by the United States. American Association of the Red Cross, 1883.

125 years of hope, humanity, compassion: selected treasures from the art collection of the American Red Cross, [Washington, D.C.?] : American Red Cross, c2006.

A story of the Red Cross: glimpses of field work, by Clara Barton. New York : D. Appleton and Company, 1918, c1904.

Elizabeth Periale


  1. Kate Quinn

    i would like to know where the Clara Barton ambulance was made? Was it a Wheeling ambulance like those of the Civil War?

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