Nov 122013

Time for another Found post! These particular things are from psychiatric hospitals and a biotech laboratory. A few of these photos originally appeared on my instagram.


These glass syringes were in a biotech animal laboratory. If you didn’t pay attention in science class in high school, biotechnology is “the use of living organisms or other biological systems in the manufacturing of drugs or other products.” In this case, the lab developed medical vaccines as well as experimental drugs, which were tested on animals, mainly horses and mice. (I will get into this in depth later, it’s pretty much just as horrifying as you’re imagining.) These syringes are 2cc, Ideal Interchangeable, manufactured in the US. The needles are from Becton-Dickinson, a medical supply company founded in 1897. It is still active.


Plate glass negatives from a psychiatric hospital. They’re part of a set used for nurse combat training for dealing with violent patients. These two contain statistical information about assaults by patients, categorized by their illness, and the injurious results. Here they are close up:


Data on assaults corresponding to illnesses and gender. Epilepsy* had the highest rate of assaults, followed by schizophrenia. Lues, aka syphilis aka “junk madness,” (that’s not a real name for it, obvs) is third in line, followed by manic depression (now known as bipolar disorder) and “cer-art” which is short for cerebral arteriosclerosis, which is senile dementia.

* This is a complicated statistic, since epileptics should never have been in mental institutions in the first place, as it is not a mental illness. However, it’s not that black and white, especially regarding the time period between 1850-1970(ish), when epilepsy was commonly misunderstood. Many patients with psychiatric disorders also have epilepsy, but not all epileptics have psychiatric disorders. Some epileptics develop mental difficulties due to prolonged seizures and the psychological stresses of the disease, yet with medication, many live normal lives. It’s possible that the high percentage of assaults by epileptic patients in this case are caused by a number of factors such as the misunderstanding of seizures, then often classified as “epileptic mania,” or improper diagnosis. This requires a much more in-depth explanation, which I’ll cover at a later date.


A list of “soft tissue injuries” caused by the assaults discussed above, the most common being facial lacerations. I’m unsettled by the quotation marks around “gouging” of the eyes. Also ruptured urethra? Woof. Traumatic iridocyclitis is damage to the eyeball, as long as it hasn’t been “gouged” out.


These are microscope slides from the biotech lab. The top two are “Pleurosigma angulatum,” a type of algae commonly used in microscopic studies. The “myelogenous leukemia” slide dated 4-12-’49 is self explanatory. Ernst Leitz Wetzlar is the type of microscope used with these slides. The microscopes were developed by a German optical institute that originally began in 1849. The company still operates, but under the name of Leica.

If the thought crossed your mind, as it did mine, that this German manufacturing company was operational during WWII, rest assured, the company was on the good side. In fact, the Lietz family was responsible for the “freedom camera,” named after the Leica 3B camera. The Leitz’s “hired” roughly 200-300 Jews and sent them to America, where they sold the cameras for cash to start a new life. Also, Dr. Max Berek, an engineer at Leitz, had his professorship revoked by the government for refusing to cooperate with the Nazis. He was reinstated after the war. However, all of this does not mean the equipment escaped use by the Nazis, as that was beyond company control, and a few of the microscopes can be found in Nazi memorabilia collections.

Oh man, this found list took a dark turn. Let’s move on to something a little lighter, shall we?


1984 Rockland Psychiatric Center foot x-ray.  Until now, I was unaware the bones of the big toe kinda look like a dick. No? Just me? Yeah right.

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Sound advice on a mirror of the rehab ward in a psych center. But if I had followed said advice, I wouldn’t have done so many drugs that I ruined it for myself and had to find another exciting hobby like the one that landed me in front of this mirror in an abandoned asylum, so who’s the right one now, Nancy Reagan??


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 11/12/2013  ALL POSTS, found things

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