Supplying a Hospital, 1895

5 10 2009

The Oregon State Insane Asylum advertised for vendors in the Salem paper.  This notice, from the Oregon Statesman December 18, 1895 (transcribed here in full), gives a unique look into the day to day activities of the institution.  The section on drug supplies lists a wide variety of familiar products including opium, sarsaparilla, caffeine, bitter almonds, turmeric, clove oil and cocaine that would probably not be found in a hospital today.  Food suppliers are charged with some almost modern sounding restrictions, requiring dried prunes supplied be “Oregon Raised” and listing specific source countries for coffee products (Costa Rica and Java).  Orders for two dozen corsets, red handkerchiefs, slippers, denim and silesia cast a light on the dress code of the day.



The board of trustees of the Oregon state insane asylum invite sealed proposals for furnishing at the asylum, near Salem, Oregon, for the six months ending June 30, 1896, the following supplies:


1500 yds. Allen prints, assorted patterns, as per sample.

500 yds. Pequot A. sheeting, 45 in., unbleached, as per sample.

500 yds. Lonsdale sheeting, 36 in., bleached as per sample.

1000 yds. French crash linen, bleached, 18 in., as per sample.

500 yds. Glass crash linen, bleached, 18 in., as per sample.

150 yds. Table oil cloth, white, as per sample.

500 yds. Amoskeag blue denims, 9 oz., as per sample.

100 yds. Silesia, drab, as per sample.

2 doz. Corsets as per sample, size 24 to 30.

10 doz. Turkey red handkerchiefs, 24 in.

75 doz. Men’s cotton socks as per sample.

12 doz. B. & W. stay binding, white, as per sample.

½ great gross duplex safety pins No. 3 as per sample.

6 G. gross F.B. shirt buttons, as per sample.

2 G. gross pants buttons, as per sample.

Thread (Coats’ or Clark’s O.N.T.)

            15 dozen No. 40 white.

            5 dozen No. 50 black.

            5 dozen No. 50 white.

            15 dozen No. 40 black.

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