Archival Pennhurst Images

Woodworking, 1926
Woodworking, 1926
From the 1926 Board report. What different lives might they have led if we had just realized that they did not belong hidden away -- they belonged in the "real" world with their families and friends, not in a basement making furniture for no pay.
Add a comment:
Your Name: *
Your Email:
(Optional. Will not be posted here)
Your Web Address:
(Optional. Will be posted here)
Your Comment: *
(Required. Limited to 300 characters)   

please enter the text from the image on the left:
amanda again...2/28/2014
I personally think even though it looks bad to us now, they were happy, and nowadays, our normal kids seem disabled because the only thing they know how to do is stare down at the electrical device in front of them doing facebook. wish schools still tought kids how to work...
I have a real big problem when people call the mentaly disabled, retarded that word is so harsh it's like saying racial words, yes they are disabled but they can think for themselves and they do have a mind of their own. They are a human being, so think before you ever call someone retarded
In 1926 Pennhurst wasn't the evil place it had become in the 70's and when it closed. This was occupational therapy for those that were not severely disabled. It made them feel valuable and human. Obviously, only those that were able were allowed. I am sure they loved working with their hands.
So many people think this is disgusting, but based on the band photos and such, with genuinely SMILING patients, it was always bad. Or at least not for every patient. I have two mentally handicapped aunts that are happiest when working with their hands.
Ok, there shouldn't be so much hatred over the place in itself. Did you know that the basis to the abuse was because they were so understaffed. Nurses couldnt possibly attend to everyone! there were thousands. And did you also know that the nurses themselves would actually take patients home for the
Having known a few mentally retarded people/ people with mental disabilties, doesn't it appear in many of theses photos that these kids and teenagers look startling normal? I again ask if thier disabilties were so grevious as to be institutionalized?
It wasn't shut down because anyone cared how those poor kids felt. My mothers cousin was put in there. The neglect kept him child like and destroyed any chances of learning to even speak. His entire life after that evil place was spent in a home. Gob bless you Albert, and all those priceless angels.
At the time there really was no alternative. Annie, in a way, you are right because in many cases the family put them there, often under the advise of their child's doctor with the notion that it will be impossible to take care of this feeble minded person. People didn't realize the potential that t
ok. i understand the wrongs done to them but you can't put everything in a general hateful position. yes, they do need to be with their families, but who put them there in the first place? Maybe, just maybe, this was a way to make them feel apart of the community by making furniture in the basement