Our Mental Facilities 1800's project

February 19, 2014

Abandoned Suitcases

Filed under: Uncategorized —— Roehr, Gabriella @ 11:10 am

Jon Crispin, from Collectors Weekly

As I was doing my research I became curious, wondering what belongings, if any, could these patients bring with them. What I found was this amazing website with pictures of all these old suitcases that the staff working at the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane came across when they were closing the asylum. All of the suitcases belonged to patients who had passed away while living at the hospital. These suitcases really tell the stories of the people who were living in the hospitals. Though mentally ill people are looked down upon and are thought not to be regular people who like normal things. The belongings in their suitcases show that they were just normal people. Your heart breaks when you see suitcases full of family pictures knowing that most likely the patients never got to see their family again after they were checked into the mental facility. Most patients brought books and other items of enjoyment to keep them entertained one person even brought her ballet dancing shoes. There were also patients who had been in the military previously. Their suitcases contained pictures of them in uniform and sometimes contained medals.


“The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things.” The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb.2014

link to website: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/abandoned-suitcases-reveal-private-lives-of-insane-asylum-patients/

4 Responses to “Abandoned Suitcases”

  1.   Inloes, Terri  Says:

    I love this site! Thanks to you, I got lost looking through suitcases for an hour rather than doing my work!

  2.   Simmons, Luke  Says:

    Cool website. Interesting what these people had on them.

  3.   Van Bueren, Jennifer  Says:

    This is truly sad! Do you think that the people working there returned the suitcases to their families? If not, what do you think they did with him. Truly is very sad.

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