One hundred seventy-one cases of neonatal conjunctivitis seen at Bellevue Hospital during the period 1950--1976 were reviewed. An overall incidence of 3.0 cases per 1,000 live births was found. A comparison of the rates of neonatal conjunctivitis with silver nitrate and tetracycline prophylaxis revealed a 100% increase in the rate overall, as well as the rate of gonococcal conjunctivitis with tetracycline. Using conjunctival cultures and cytology, a diagnosis could be established in 73% of the cases, with 41% being bacterial and 32% chlamydial. Staphylococcus was the single most common organism recovered; gonococcus was relatively rare.