Harrisburg State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
The establishment of a hospital for the relief of the insane poor of the state claimed the attention of the philanthropic at an early date. The first movement was made by the citizens of Philadelphia, who adopted a memorial which they presented to the Legislature at the session of 1838-39. A bill authorizing the erection of a state lunatic hospital was prepared and passed both houses, but did not receive the sanction of the Governor. Subsequently an act was passed March 4, 1841, authorizing the Governor to appoint three commissioners to select a site and superintend a suitable building for the purpose. The spot selected was on the Schuylkill River, two miles from Gray's Ferry, below Philadelphia. Preparations were made for commencing the erection of the building, when operations were suspended. |+|
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|−|The subject was not permitted to rest, but was kept before the public until, in 1844, Miss Dorothea L. Dix, having visited and examined the almshouses and jails throughout the state, presented to the Legislature a memorial setting forth the condition of the insane and urging upon the members the necessity and duty of providing some means for their treatment and proper maintenance. [[ Harrisburg State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Revision as of 04:40, 20 September 2020
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Binghamton State Hospital
Built in 1858, the castle originally served as the country's first inebriate asylum. Founder J. Edward Turner belonged to a school of thought that alcoholism wasn't just a vice, but could be cured medically. The well-lit rooms and extensive grounds are an important marker in New York State's view of addiction. The asylum was the first of its kind in the country, but only served its original purpose for 15 years, at which point Turner's inebriate asylum was converted into a hospital for the chronically insane. The asylum faced financial woes for a decade after a great fire broke out in March 1870. Gov. Lucius Robinson deemed it a “complete failure” in 1879, suggesting that the asylum be closed down and renovated to house the insane. In 1881, its doors were reopened as the Binghamton Asylum for the Chronic Insane, later renamed the Binghamton State Hospital. Hundreds of patients were transferred to Binghamton from Utica, Poughkeepsie and Middletown; those patients lived, suffered and died in the palatial asylum. Treatment methods only worsened with the turn of the century.
In 1942, the hospital instituted electric shock therapy, hydrotherapy and later lobotomy as methods of treatment for the mentally ill. These “treatments” were nothing short of brutally inhumane. Patients were restrained in wet canvas for up to six hours at a time and forced into seizures by means of electric shock. The worst and most terrifying of these treatments was the prefrontal lobotomy, a form of psychosurgery that involved scrambling the frontal lobe of the brain with a sharp metal instrument inserted through the upper eye socket. Click here for more...