[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].
[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].

[Photo Album and RPPC Lot from an Early Psychiatric Nurse].

[Sykesville, Maryland?]: [1930s]. Vol. 1: Oblong 8vo, flexible black cloth. 83 silver print photographs on 22 leaves, with additional 24 photographs tipped in, dimensions from .5” x .5” to 4.75” x 6.75”; Vol. 2: Oblong 8vo, flexible black cloth. 341 photographs, silver prints and other processes, some of them real photo postcards, dimensions from 1.5” x 1” to 5.5” x 3.5”, 30 photomechanical postcards and souvenir cards; chromolithographic bouquets with printed sentiments, flags, and baby heads sprinkled throughout; additional lot of 16 loose real photo postcards.

A group of albums and loose photos compiled by a psychiatric nurse who worked at the second government-run psychiatric hospital in Maryland.

Only the second of its kind in Maryland, Springfield Hospital Center was established in 1896 and relieved its overflowing predecessor, the Spring Grove Hospital Center. Its grounds had previously belonged to the Patterson-Brown family (William Patterson’s daughter Elizabeth married Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Jérôme) but were sold to the state for the express purpose—spearheaded by an 1894 legislative act—of establishing what at the time was being called “the second hospital for the insane in Maryland.” A postcard showing a transport truck with the name “Springfield Hospital” suggests that the nurse was employed there.

The 19th Century shift in perception of mental illness from a divine punishment to a medical issue with concrete causes and cures precipitated an effort to treat psychiatric disorders through state-sponsored facilities that often followed the “Kirkbride Plan” (so-named for its all-encompassing innovator, Thomas Kirkbride), giving patients aesthetically pleasing housing, immersing them in nature and busying them with wholesome, and engaging them in concrete, physical tasks and leisure activities. By the time these photographs were taken the “moral treatment” for insanity was likely giving way to therapies associated with the mid-20th Century, but its stately grounds and architecture are evidenced here.

Both the Spring Grove and Springfield Hospitals continued to expand and in 1930 the Spring Grove facility graduated the first class of its new Practical Nursing School. Although a series of newspaper exposés in the 1940s revealed shocking squalor and mistreatment of patients, nothing of that sort is evidenced in these albums. Alongside subjects from the nurse’s private life—snapshots of family members and leisure outings, etc—are a substantial number of nursing related photographs. The postcards show almost equal proportions of single nurse portraits (all women) and what appear to be single and group graduation photos, presumably from the Spring Grove Practical Nursing School (these include a few men, also holding their rolled diplomas). Other photos show nurses, alone or variously grouped throughout the hospital grounds and among its airy brick buildings. One photograph shows a nurse astride her motorcycle, and there are multiple images from a group outing at which at least two of the friends—one of whom certainly was a nurse, and possibly the owner of the albums—wear knickers, tall socks, and flat shoes. From the postcards and small tourist photo cards, it is possible to locate the nurse along local travels into Baltimore, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Of the photographs that are tipped in, a few are captioned: one, showing three people leaning in to replace a flat tire, is amusingly labeled: “Poor Edward Had to do all the work.”

CONDITION: Vol. 1: Some slight discoloration to upper covers, otherwise good; vol. 2: some discoloration on outer covers, substantial discoloration on inner covers; photos generally in good condition.

Item #3888

Price: $950.00

See all items in Photographs