Restraint or warming suit from an asylum

1890-1960 in Europe

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Restraint or warming suit from Sussex Lunatic Asylum/Brighton County Borough Asylum, 1890-1948

It is possible this full body suit was used like a straitjacket. It may have restrained violent or suicidal patients in a psychiatric hospital. However, there are no visible means of restraining the patient such as belts or buckles. The suit was worn like a pair of overalls, with brass eyelets up the front. This would have made it hard to force a patient into it. The suit is also extremely large and made of a heavy, thick material. It is more feasible it was a warming suit for patients in the asylum’s infirmary. The suit comes from Brighton County Borough Asylum, formerly Sussex Lunatic Asylum. It dates from between 1890 and 1948. This was before the first drug treatments became available.


Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy) and synthetic textile
restraint suit
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
Princess Royal Hospital

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