Canvas straitjacket for adults, London, England, 1930-1960
This straitjacket restrained adult patients in psychiatric hospitals during the 1930s through to the 1960s. It is made of heavy canvas. It has four ties on the main body and excessively long arms. These wrap around and tie behind the back. Such garments restricted the movements of patients considered violent or unruly. Their use was phased out when anti-psychotic drugs and more ‘humane’ methods of management were introduced.
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Glossary: psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital specialising in the treatment of serious mental illness, usually for relatively long-term patients.
A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.
Glossary: restraint suit