QR Codes

3 10 2012

Not enough time to listen to all the QR code features in the exhibits during your visit?  Access them all right here.

Videos

1964 Description of life on Ward 36 as published in the April 15th Edition of the O.S.H. Quest

1883 Description of OSH Wards as published in the Morning Oregonian

1861 Description of the Hawthorne Asylum in Portland by Dr. J.S. Giltner

Links:

Morningside Hospital History 

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Nine Methods Stand Out In Care of Mentally Ill, 1955

10 09 2012

The following was published in the March 27, 1955 edition of the Oregonian newspaper as a supplement to an article by Ann Sullivan on new drug treatments being introduced at the Oregon State Hospital.  It is excerpted below. 

Nine Methods Stand Out In Care of Mentally Ill

These are the most frequent treatments for the mentally ill in use at the Oregon state and most other mental hospitals today:

Psychotherapy, counseling directly with patient by doctor.

Electrotherapy, use of electric shock treatments which often can bring patient back to reality.

Insulin coma, lowering of blood sugar by insulin so that higher centers of central nervous system can be rested, calmed.

Nutritional therapy, use of right food, vitamins, etc., to restore patient to physical health.

Milieu, maintaining setting of healthful social living as much as possible for those who can be helped.

Group therapy, group discussion by patients of mental problems led by a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Chlorpormazine and reserpine, new drugs which have calming effect on several types of patients.

Attitude therapy, in which entire personnel of a patient’s ward has been particularly instructed on special handling.

Sedatives and Hydrotherapy (warm baths), also used for calming down.





Oregon Hospital for the Insane Description, 1868

5 09 2012

Listen to the 1868 report of visiting physician Dr. J.S. Giltner to the Oregon Hospital for the Insane in Portland. The Oregon Hospital for the Insane was a private hospital run by Drs. Hawthorne and Loreya in Portland, Oregon from 1861-1883. They contracted with the State of Oregon for the care of people diagnosed with insanity prior to the creation of the Oregon State Hospital in Salem.

We are experimenting with the idea of using a combination of QR codes and YouTube videos to create audio features in the exhibit spaces.  This is our first attempt.  Let us know what you think below.





The History of Bethlem Hospital

3 09 2012

In researching the history of restraint as a form of treatment we came across this excellent (and entertaining) lecture by archivist Colin Gale on the history of Bethlem Hospital, also known in popular parlance as Bedlam. Bethlem Hospital was founded in London in 1247 and is considered by many the world’s first asylum. As highlighted in the lecture, the hospital had a practice of allowing public tours of the facilities during its history, a questionable practice that has left some interesting eye witness accounts of the facilities and practices.





Shampaine Company Operating Table

26 08 2012

The property tag on this operating table shows it was used at the Oregon State Hospital, but beyond that we didn’t know too much more about it.  So we decided to do some investigating.

A little crawling around on the floor revealed a manufacturer’s tag that reads: “Made by the Shampaine Company, St. Louis Missouri, U.S.A.  Model No. S-1502. Serial No. 527.  Patent Nos. 2,416,410; 2,501,415; 2,532,677.  Other patents pending.”

A quick Google search did not turn up much more than several other pieces from the Shampaine Company for sale on EBay.  So we turned to the U.S. Patent Office, hoping that the patent issue dates might give us an early date of manufacture for the piece.  With the following results: Read the rest of this entry »





Cataloging Update

30 07 2012

The Oregon State Hospital Museum received a matching grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission for materials to aid in cataloging and rehousing artifacts at the Oregon State Hospital.  We turned in our interim grant report today with the results of the cataloging efforts.  To date we have cataloged over 4423 individual items representing 522 different types of materials.  These include everything from chairs (44) to alarms (3) to theracycles (2).

The grant has allowed the museum to purchase PastPerfect museum software, an electronic database which will allow us to track individual items.  The database now has records* for:

  • 1508 Objects
  • 93 Photos
  • 219 Archival Collections
  • 162 Library Materials

Each record has space for us to attach a photo of the material and fields to track size, medium, type, creator, place of origin, etc.  The great part about this database is that we can also tag records with different categories and names, which will make finding materials for exhibits and research much easier.

The second half of the grant project includes purchasing archival quality storage materials to help us rehouse the collections and preserve them for future generations.  This will mean replacing the wadded newspaper used to quickly pack materials before the building was torn down.

Read the rest of this entry »





George F. Berger

15 07 2012

In 1905, 48 people were admitted to the Oregon State Insane Asylum with a diagnosis of “alcoholism” and 16 for syphilitic symptoms.[1]  George F. Berger was one of those people.

Berger was born in Wisconsin in April of 1869 to Frank and Margaret Berger, Germans who had immigrated to the United States from what is now Baden-Württemberg.[2]  His family, including an older sister Mary, farmed in Randolph, Courtland, Columbia County, Wisconsin.[3]

Sometime between 1870 and 1880, the family moved to Oregon.  By the 1880 Federal Census, George was 12 years old and living on Olive Street in Eugene.  Father Frank is no longer in the picture and mother Margaret is going by the last name of Haney, suggesting she may have remarried.  With a two year old brother named Jacob Berger, it would further suggest that George’s father died or left sometime between 1878 and 1880, leaving George as the man of the house at a very young age.

Due to an unfortunate fire which destroyed the 1890 Federal Census, we are forced to pick up George’s trail again in Oregon City in 1896 when we find him working as a bartender for Thomas Trembrath.[4]  Four years later, he had moved back to his mother’s 5th Street home in Eugene, where he and his now 21-year-old brother both worked as bartenders.[5] Berger did not keep a low profile after his move back to Eugene.  He was arrested and fined for gambling at least twice.  As a 1903 Oregonian article reported: Read the rest of this entry »