Monday, July 2, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg, Part 2a

After going back to the condo for lunch, we returned to Williamsburg.  After watching an educational movie in the visitor center, we toured the Public Hospital...the first facility in America dedicated solely to the care and treatment of the insane.

In the beginning, this institution employed primitive remedies...including restraints, drugs, bleeding, plunge baths, and confinement in cells.

Accommodations for patients during its first 50 years were prison-like.  Furnishings were limited to a straw-filled bed on the floor, a blanket, and a chamber pot.  Hospital residents, often referred to as inmates, spent most of the day in their rooms.  Even meals were eaten in the cells.

Next, we browsed the displays of American and British antiques and works of art at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum...a 62,000-square-foot museum!  We enjoyed viewing and learning about furniture, textiles, paintings, maps, firearms, ceramics, silver, pewter, and tools from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.

Children of wealthy parents might have owned silver bells which served as both a rattle and a teething ring at its coral tip.

The date, initials, and sentimental verses can be seen on these tea wares.  A potter used his thumbprint to make the highlights on the teapot's painted hearts.

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