Inside the suitcases of lunatic asylum patients

1682431-slide-slide-10-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insaneVery much interested in the clinically insane, Pennsylvanian photographer Jon Crispin has taken his interest to new heights by exploring and documenting the personal artifacts left behind by mental patients in a late-19th century psychiatric institution. The upstate New York patients at the (now discontinued) Willard Lunatic Asylum left more than a few curious artifacts in hundreds of suitcases. Which of these once stowed-away items intrigues you the most?

1682431-slide-slide-7-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-5-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-4-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-6-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-11-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-8-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-3-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-2-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-9-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insane1682431-slide-slide-1-suitcases-of-the-criminally-insaneThe place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum. Havelock Ellis

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  2. Great photos. These suitcases belonged to folks that were in rehab by the way, NOT lunatics. Willard was a rehabilitation center. I will have the complete history and photos up soon. Keep up the great work.

  3. reader

    I would refrain from calling mentally ill people “lunatics.”
    Especially, since in late 19th century the definition of “clinically INSANE” included people suffering from things like post-partum depression or bipolar disorder. Many were, against their will, subjected to electroshock therapy and lobotomies.

  4. Pingback: Women and the Insane Asylum | A Prophets Journey

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