Box of card tokens at St Audry's Hospital, England, 1939-1945

Made:
1939-1945 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Box of card and linen tokens used as an incentive for patients taking part in occupational therapy, unsigned, England, 1939-1945.

These tokens were reward payments to patients for work done in asylum workshops or gardens. This work was a type of occupational therapy. Coloured tokens were exchanged for items such as cigarettes and cakes. They encouraged positive behaviour and were crucial in upholding asylums’ elaborate systems of privileges.

St Audry’s Hospital opened in 1765 as a workhouse for the poor. It became the Suffolk County Lunatic Asylum in 1827. The hospital was also known as St Audry’s Hospital for Mental Diseases from 1917. The hospital and the associated Asylum Museum shut down in the late 1980s. This object was once displayed at the museum.

Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
1990-183/4
Materials:
cardboard, linen (textile) and paper (fibre product)
type:
token
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • exchange medium
  • visual and verbal communication
  • exchange medium
credit:
East Suffolk Health Authority