Replica of a forearm restraint, England, 1850-1920

Made:
1850-1920 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Forearm restrainer, copy, leather with iron buckles, original found in Hanwell Asylum, English, 1850-1920. Full 3/4
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

© The Board of Trustees of the
Science Museum Group

© The Board of Trustees of the
Science Museum Group

Replica of a forearm restraint, made of leather with iron buckles. The original, probably from the late 19th or early 20th century, was found around 1930 in a chest in the cellar at Hanwell Asylum, the asylum on the outskirts of London whose superintendant, John Conolly (1794-1866), famously renounced all instruments of mechanical restraint in favor of 'moral treatment,' that is, regular labour under constant close surveillance.

A violent or unruly patient was contained using a forearm restraint. The original of this forearm restraint was found in a chest at the Hanwell Asylum in Middlesex in 1930. Hanwell Asylum is now West London Mental Health NHS Trust at St Bernard’s Hospital. The restraint is thought to date from the late 1800s or early 1900s.

The copy appears to be a highly accurate representation of the original because it shows marks of wear and tear. Hanwell Asylum’s superintendent was John Conolly (1794-1866). He famously renounced instruments of mechanical restraint in favour of ‘moral treatment’. Moral treatment was regular labour under constant surveillance. It is possible copies made of this and other articles found at the same time were created to illustrate to patients and staff the former treatment of inmates.

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Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
A602821
Materials:
buckles, iron, leather
type:
arm restraint
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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