Norristown State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
Norristown State Hospital received its first patient, a woman, on July 12, 1880 under the supervision of Dr. Robert H. Chase and Dr. Alice Bennett. Two more women arrived on July 13th followed by the first two men on July 17th. Very soon thereafter groups of individuals were admitted from other state hospitals and county almshouses. By September 30, 1880, there were 295 men and 251 women receiving inpatient care and treatment. |+|
|Body= State Hospital its the on .
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|−|Norristown State Hospital was the first of the Pennsylvania state hospitals to construct its buildings deviating slightly from the "Kirkbride Plan", best known as "Transitional Plan". Instead of constructing a single monolithic building, the individual patient wards were separated and free-standing. These building were connected with a series of underground tunnels, including a central tunnel which stretches across the property. Norristown still maintains the schematics of Kirkbride's original plan, with it separation of male and female departments, as well as leveling the acuity of patients by ward. |+|
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|−|There was a tremendous emphasis during the early period on a 'humane' approach to psychiatric treatment ("moral therapy") allowing the individual as much liberality as his/her condition would permit, which was common of the period. Several low-acuity wards were unlocked for periods of time, and grounds privileges was a common feature of daily life. Work assignments became a significant feature of a patient's daily routine, many focusing on the workings of the state farm. They were not limited to farm work, other occupational departments include: Administration, Bakery, Billiard room, Boiler room, Bric-a -brac shop, Brush shop, Butcher, Carpenter shop, Dispensary, Garden, Kitchen, Laundry, Machinists, Mattress shop, News-room, Out-door improvement, Painters, Plasterers, Plumbers, Printing office, Scroll saw shop, Shoemakers, Stables, Store-rooms, Tailors, Wards and dining rooms and Weavers. However, with the change in Pennsylvania State Law in the 1970's, hospital patients were no longer permitted to be involved in farm labor. Thereafter, the farmlands were employed by separates agencies of the city of Norristown, namely Norris-City and Norristown Farm Park. [[ Norristown State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Norwich State Hospital
Experts in the psychological field would never have predicted we would medicate people rather than have them in controlled environments. The Norwich State Hospital opened its doors in 1904 to the insane with ninety-five patients in one building on over 100 acres.
One of the hospital’s first superintendents believed that mechanical restraint of patients was preferable to medication and believed in hydrotherapy as a treatment measure. The Board of the hospital quickly realized the population was exceeding what was safe. In 1905, two patient buildings were built with a third opening in 1907.
Thirteen buildings were erected for patients during the next eight years and in 1913 with a population of 998, an administration building, three cottages for physicians, a carpenter and maintenance shop, a main kitchen, garage, laboratory, staff house, and an employees’ club house had been erected and the inebriate farm and the Colony had been established.
Seven new buildings were built between 1920 and 1930 and another building was purchased for patients’ use. In 1929, the hospital peaked with 1,115 patients while in 1930 the average daily census reached 2,422. At this point, in addition to new patient facilities, two more cottages were erected for physicians, a female employees’ home, a paint shop, a greenhouse, a superintendent’s residence, and two garages were built. Click here for more...