Lunacy

Lobotomy (Walter Freeman)

A drawing from Dr. Walter Freeman’s book, Psychosurgery in the Treatment of Mental Disorders and Intractable Pain, shows his icepick-inspired transorbital lobotomy instrument. …  Following Freeman’s lead [in 1936], hundreds of physicians performed thousands of lobotomies in the United States during the procedure’s prime.

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Weyburn Mental Hospital (1960)

Weyburn Mental Hospital (1960) 

When the doors to the Weyburn Mental Hospital opened on December 29th, 1921, the facility had a capacity of 900 patients, 60 nurses and 60 attendants. A few years later, the addition of a second wing made room for 3,000 patients and staff, but the hospital was nearly always over capacity. WMH was not only one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country, it soon developed a reputation for cutting edge treatments and psychiatric drug research. The history of the Weyburn Mental Hospital dates back to 1879, after a massive migration of settlers to the west stirred the federal government to pass legislation “regarding the safe keeping of dangerous lunatics in the Northwest Territories.”  Saskatchewan joined the Dominion of Canada in 1905, and within 20 years had begun to build such institutions, first in North Battleford, then in Weyburn.

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