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Mental asylum

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Tour Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a haunted National Landmark | Roadtrippers - Maps Built for Travelers

There's tons of abandoned asylums dotted throughout the USA — remnants of a time when mental health was still something misunderstood by medical professionals, and where many of the treatments were truly barbaric. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV was one of those facilities. Construction on the building began in 1858, and continued until 1861 when it was interrupted by the beginning of the Civil War. The building, which was designed in the Kirkbride Plan style, was…

set dressing

Electroshock Treatment Record from a patient case file, 1962-1967 North Bay psychiatric hospital patients’ clinical case files

THE FIRST MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY IN AMERICA       Did you ever wonder who took responsibility for, or treated, the mentally ill during the ...

THE FIRST MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY IN AMERICA Did you ever wonder who took responsibility for, or treated, the mentally ill during the Colonial era? At that time, either family members or the parish church oversaw their care. However, if the individual could not be controlled, and if they were thought to be harmful to themselves or a menace to others, they were often jailed or sent to a poorhouse. While there was a hospital in Philadelphia run by the Quakers that established a wing for the…

I think the therapy here is very effective. You want to get better so you don't have to come back. I know it's abandoned, I'm making a joke. Because that's what I do when I see a picture like this.

Explore stevenbley's photos on Flickr. stevenbley has uploaded 10082 photos to Flickr.

Not originally published in LIFE. Pilgrim State Hospital, Brentwood, NY, 1938.

Alfred Eisenstaedt's photos from Pilgrim State Hospital in the late 1930s blended clear-eyed reporting with an almost palpable compassion.