Kirkbride Buildings Blog

October 6th, 2009

State Hospital Stories Out of Time

Last week someone on the forum posted a link to a Time Magazine Story which mentioned Traverse City State Hospital. It gave me the idea to check for more stories concerning state hospitals from Time’s extensive 86 year archive. While there weren’t any amazing finds, there were a few interesting items…

Medicine in a Mad House (1934) – Tells the story of how a patient filled Danvers State Hospital‘s kitchen sugar cans with cockroach poison, killing another patient and making 13 others seriously ill.

Government Inspiration (1936) – This story about government sponsored art during the New Deal starts off with a description of a mural painted at Elgin State Hospital. I just thought it was interesting that the artists were instructed to “use only the softest shades of primary colors, to ‘avoid all exciting combinations.'”

Unhappy Anniversary (1952) – The sad story of Miss X, Topeka State Hospital’s oldest resident in 1952. She had been admitted to the hospital in 1882.

Reinforcement Therapy: Short Cut to Sanity? (1969) – Experiments in something called “Reinforcement Therapy” at Anna State Hospital in Illinois.

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  1. bettie wheat March 13, 2010, 11:22 pm

    I am interested in a few people that died at Anna and am sure they were buried there. I couldn’t bring up any names for a cemetery. Thanks Bettie Wheat

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