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Glore Psychiatric Museum

Glore Psychiatric Museum is an offshoot of the St. Joseph, Missouri, Museums organization and is the nation's largest museum dedicated to mental illness. The not-for-profit organization was named after George Glore, who devoted his life to bringing the issues of mental illness and psychiatric treatment out into the public eye. Started in 1967, the museum was situated in a ward of St. Joseph State Hospital, called the State Lunatic Asylum #2. It now operates in a building adjacent to the prison. It takes visitors across the wide span of historical treatment of mental illness. It exhibits items that illustrate the changing face of psychiatric treatment. Museum holdings range from full-sized replicas of 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century treatment devices to period artifacts, photographs, books, and documents. The exhibit features boxes, water baths, and gerbil cage-style human treadmills used to restrain the mentally ill in the 19th century. Noteworthy among the exhibits is a glass-topped display case that features more than 1000 metal objects removed from a patient's stomach in a 1929 surgery. The museum’s entire collection is contained within four floors. The basement showcases a cage containing empty packs of cigarettes, each pack of 10 neatly tied together with string. A Zenith television with several charred letters is exhibited next to the cigarettes. The first floor houses a brain jar that was disappointingly empty. Treatments ranging from dousing tanks, to cages, straitjackets, dungeons, and electroshock therapy also can be viewed. One of the floors is dedicated to contemporary patient art. An array of lobotomy tools and a functioning morgue with a sterile room and space for four corpses, also are on display.