Restraint blanket, marked BMH M6 (Brighton Mental Hospital), 1903-1948.
Restraints before the 1900s often took the form of iron chains or leather manacles. This blanket was less cruel and more temporary. It showed a different attitude toward restraint. The blanket is extremely large and made of a heavy thick material. It was used at Brighton Mental Hospital for violent or perhaps suicidal patients. Brighton Mental Hospital was the institution’s name between 1890 and 1948. It was formerly known as Sussex Lunatic Asylum. The new name reflected a broadening public appreciation of psychiatric problems as illnesses treated by nurses and doctors in hospitals. The first significant drug treatments appeared in mental hospitals in the mid-1950s. The need for physical restraints was lessened, but never eliminated.