Posts tagged #mental institution

Early 1900's Straight Jacket from Sedro Wolley State Hospital

From 1912 to 1973, what once was known as the Northern State Asylum welcomed its share of the state’s “insane.”

Patients at Sedro Wolley Northern State Hospital, which housed as many as 2,700 souls in the early 1950s, ranged from the violent mentally ill (a small minority) to the mildly disturbed — and beyond, to epileptics, alcoholics, drug addicts or mere social nonconformists. Many were immigrants.

Treatments were consistent with the times, and many are now considered barbaric. Doctors and nurses administered regular electric-shock treatments to many patients, including women incarcerated for “menopausal depression.” Heavy sedation, sometimes with experimental drugs, was common. “Insulin coma therapy” was employed, and some patients, beginning in the 1940s, received a new wonder cure, the transorbital lobotomy.

We were hunting for this Jacket for a customer and finally managed to get one from a grandson of a former Sedro Wolley employee. A beautiful example made of heavy canvas and riveted leather straps, and brass buckles. These type of jackets date from the early 1900's. This one bears the makers mark 'Ca' and appeared to be well used before it was retired. There is definitely a presence to this piece.