Monday, December 19, 2011

Hospital and Asylum Restraints of the 1920s

Last week I was lucky enough to score a near mint condition copy of a hospital and doctor's supply catalog from 1922. Reading through it over the weekend I was struck by how sophisticated the technology actually was. With the exception of modern electronics and automation I expect a doctor from nearly a century ago would recognize everything in a modern hospital or clinic. Dressings, surgical tools, examination's all the same, at least to the untrained eye of a layman.

Here's a page of patient restraints, including prices. There's no doubt gear like this could be cruelly misused, but the devices seem genuinely humane. The restraint sheet is a far cry from the infamous "Utica Crib" that was used at the New York State Lunatic Asylum just down the road from my home. Click through for the high resolution version.

1 comment:

Jason McKittrick said...

Very interesting.

There is a local abandoned mental institution near me too, Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital. Up until a few years ago there were still remains of these types of restraints on some of the beds.

The ghost hunting boom has caused a lot more traffic through these places and these "ghost hunters" really like to steal and destroy stuff. It's a shame.