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Philadelphia Inquirer, March 18, 1898. Gosh, isn’t mental illness is just so adorable, so “picturesque”? The awesomeness here is sent stratospheric by the inclusion of a crazy guy dressed as Napoleon. Read more.


  1. Could you add a “hospital” or “mental illness” tag to this post?

    The “fat man/fat girl” made me wonder if that was a costume or not…(?) same with “hod carrier,” that could have been the scullery maid just passing through the room.

    Very interesting snippet. Did people provide costumes for the guests, or did they make them themselves? It just raises all kinds of interesting questions.

    • I wondered about the fat man and fat girl myself. No doubt even relative obesity among the institutionalized was less common back when they were all wards of charity. Also, it’s surely become a lot easier to pack on the pounds in a mental ward ever since Thorazine and other pharmaceutical straitjackets became available.
      I will tag as requested, tbird. Thanks.

  2. What, no Jesus?

    • All the Christs were traditionally warehoused at Ypsilanti State, is why.

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