Hospital ward letter box, England, 1870-1910

1870-1910 in England

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Ward letter box for the posting of patients letters. Front 3/4 view of whole object on graduated grey background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Hospital ward letter box for the posting of patients' letters, Suffolk, England, 1870-1910.

Letter boxes in asylum wards allowed patients to communicate with the outside world. The number of people confined to asylums grew rapidly after the 1890 Lunacy Act. This gave local officials the power to order internment. Some patients spent their lives in such institutions. The institutions were often self-sufficient, with little contact with the outside. This example was collected from the Asylum Museum at St Audry's Hospital in Suffolk, England, when the hospital and the museum closed in the late 1980s.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), glass, paper (fibre product) and wood (unidentified)
post box
  • component - object
  • street furniture
East Suffolk Health Authority

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