Hospital ward letter box, England, 1870-1910
Letter boxes in asylum wards allowed patients to communicate with the outside world. The number of people confined to asylums grew rapidly after the 1890 Lunacy Act. This gave local officials the power to order internment. Some patients spent their lives in such institutions. The institutions were often self-sufficient, with little contact with the outside. This example was collected from the Asylum Museum at St Audry's Hospital in Suffolk, England, when the hospital and the museum closed in the late 1980s.
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Glossary: post box
Physical box for public and private use, used to collect outgoing mail