Cupid Repaired, 1963

Fifty years ago today, this news story appeared in the Oregon Statesman newspaper:

After being knocked over twice by vandals, this statue-fountain of cupid was replaced on the Oregon State Hospital grounds Thursday by Donald Muellhapt (left) and Harvey Gibbens, hospital employees.  The statue was restored with money from the patients’ own fund.  All concerned are hoping goodwill will prevail this time and the statue will remain standing.

After this article was published the statue was removed and placed into storage at the hospital.  It did make an appearance in exhibits for the hospital’s 100th anniversary in 1983.  As part of the Oregon State Hospital replacement project, the statue was restored and placed in its original location, in front of the Kirkbride building where you can visit it today.

Shampaine Company Operating Table

The property tag on this operating table shows it was used at the Oregon State Hospital, but beyond that we didn’t know too much more about it. So we decided to do some investigating. A little crawling around on the floor revealed a manufacturer’s tag that reads: “Made by the Shampaine Company, St. Louis Missouri, U.S.A.  Model No. S-1502. Serial No. 527.  Patent Nos. 2,416,410; 2,501,415; 2,532,677.  Other patents pending.”

Tennis Racket, 2012.001.006

With Wimbledon wrapping up, we thought we would highlight this very interesting piece of tennis history found in the recreational therapy supplies at the Oregon State Hospital.  The most striking feature of this wooden tennis racket (2012.001.006), is the color portrait of a young woman named Maureen Connolly, at one time one of the most accomplished tennis players in the world.

Before the Williams Sisters, Graff, Navratilova and even Billie Jean King, Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly became the first woman ever to win a Grand Slam — winning all four Grand Slam events in a calendar year — which she did in 1953.  Did we mention she was just a teenager at the time?

Her accomplishments are incredible considering the length of her career.  A horse riding accident, led to her retirement from tennis at the tender age of 19, just two weeks after she won her third consecutive Wimbledon title.

Artifact Spotlight: T2009.002.0386


These plates were inventoried in the Gold Room in 2010.

Lipiodol Lafay

T2009.002.487 and T2009.002.467 are boxes of Lipiodol Lafay distributed by the E. Fougera & Co., Inc made in cooperation with the Andre Guerbet & Company.  “A stable iodine addition product of poppyseed oil” used for “radiographic visualization of hollow viscera, sinus and fistula tracts.”

A Radiology article from November 1926 explains further: “Besides the two principal roentgenological uses of lipiodol–exploration of the central nervous system (spinal subarchnoid space and cerebral ventricles) and exploration of bronchial tubes– there have occurred a great many uses of minor importance…”

Television Unveiled

At the last museum board meeting, this newly restored television set was presented.  The television appeared in the baseball scene of the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” where the character McMurphy famously announces the game watching its blank screen.  Recovered from the trash after the filming, the television was donated to the museum for use in its displays.

Bird’s Eye View

T2009.002.427.109 Aerial Photograph, Oregon State Hospital, sometime between 1951 and 1973.  Photograph from the collections of the Oregon State Hospital.  Image is taken from the southwestern corner facing towards the northeast.  The large white building at the center is the so-called “J-Building” owing to its shape like the letter “J.”  Today the stem of that “J” has been demolished leaving the oldest part of the building, a “U” shaped section often referred to as the “Kirkbride U”.

Applebaum Suppository Machine

The device pictured to the right is a suppository making machine.  It, along with two additional molds, were found in a case that was moved from the old Fairview Hospital to OSH when Fairview was closed and added to the material stored in OSH’s “Gold Room” for historic artifacts.

The machine was patented in 1924 by Samuel K. Applebaum.  The inscription on the device’s frame reads: “Applebaum Suppository Machine MFD. By Druggists Appliance MFG. Co., Port Richmond, N.Y. Pats. Pending.”  It is possible that this machine was made prior to the 1924 patent issue date.[1]  The web-based Museum of Historical Medical Artifacts has a machine that looks very similar dated at about 1925.

In his patent application, Applebaum explains his machine and the reason for his improvements to the general practice of suppository making:

This invention relates to improvements in apparatus by means of which suppositories and like medicaments are molded and particularly to improvements in the parts of such machines that are immediately involved in the molding operation.  It has been a common practice for pharmacists,

DeWitt’s Hair Dressing

This bottle of DeWitt’s Fragrant Hair Dressing was found in a box of old medicine bottles from the Eastern Oregon State Hospital.

E.C. DeWitt & Company was in operation as early as 1906.  Trademark records show that a logo similar to that of the one on this bottle was registered in 1908.  The registration claims that the first use of this image was in June of 1906.[1]  The publication of the National Association of Retail Druggists include advertisements for the E.C. Dewitt & Company the 1913 issue.[2]  They appear to be directly distributing patent medicines like:

  • Little Early Risers
  • Witch Hazel Salve
  • One Minute Cough Cure
  • Kennedy’s Laxative Honey and Tar
  • Kodel Dyspepsia Cure

to retailers across the country.[3]

And while we were somewhat tempted, we didn’t open it to see just how fragrant it was.

Property Cards

Probably the most interesting and emotional thing I have found in inventorying historic materials at the Oregon State Hospital was a box of index cards.  The orange box didn’t look like much, but the cards inside were a time capsule highlighting a very personal side of institutional commitment.  These property cards list patient’s personal possessions that were confiscated upon commitment to the hospital for safe keeping.  Below is a sampling of some of the materials listed on the patient property cards:

  • 40 year lodge pin
  • Liquor permit
  • 2 selective service cards
  • Class ring