American Wringer

Antique Wringer
This antique laundry wringer was on display at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia. The asylum, also called the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane, was designed in Gothic and Tudor Revival styles and opened in 1864.

Originally designed to accommodate 250 patients in relatively comfortable surroundings with plenty of natural light and fresh air, conditions at the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane slowly deteriorated into a horror show. During the 1950s, its population peaked at a staggering 2,600 patients, with state and medical officials resorting to lobotomy to reduce overcrowding. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990.

Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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