Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American Asylums and Hospitals: Postcards, Public Perception, and Purpose

Overview


The process of American psychiatric care started with the development of lunatic asylums during the early nineteenth century. There were 122 state-supported lunatic asylums opened in the United States before 1900. Most histories of early asylums have been lost except for the significant or unusual ones. Tracing the history of these early institutions, which emphasized care for the common patient, will allow current researchers to understand the actions and attitudes that previously doomed such programs, saving ...
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Overview


The process of American psychiatric care started with the development of lunatic asylums during the early nineteenth century. There were 122 state-supported lunatic asylums opened in the United States before 1900. Most histories of early asylums have been lost except for the significant or unusual ones. Tracing the history of these early institutions, which emphasized care for the common patient, will allow current researchers to understand the actions and attitudes that previously doomed such programs, saving time and money. This book reveals, through old postcards, how the early asylums appeared to the public, how they were advertised, what activities and buildings were created for specific purposes in the process of caring for the insane of society, and how patients were transported to the facilities. In order to give a broader sense of place, images of the asylums’ entrances or gates, the grounds, inside views, and staff housing of these facilities are detailed.
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Meet the Author


Alma Wynelle Deese graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, and the University of Mississippi Graduate School. She worked as a psychologist at several institutions, including Eastern State Hospital, for thirty-four years.  Retired, she now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Jennifer L. Bazar is a PhD student in the History and Theory of Psychology program at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her primary research interests include the history of asylums and asylum patients in the nineteenth century, archival theory, and the history of psychological laboratories. She is currently a visiting Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department of Texas A&M University.

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