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Hacksaw - Handmade by Patient, Ararat Mental Hospital, circa 1867 Object Reg. No: SH 850013

A hacksaw made by a patient from the J ward of Ararat Mental Hospital, circa 1867. It was handmade in the engineer's shop.
Hacksaw made of carved wood in the shape of a chopped-off letter A, held together at the top by twisted wire.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Aradale Mental Hospital (Ararat Asylum)
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 19.00 cm (Height), 27.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: carpentry, mental health, mental health institutions, psychiatric hospitals, -1, making history - psych services
Themes this item is part of: Psychiatric Services Collection, Medicine in Society Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDICINE & HEALTH
Secondary Classification: Mental Health - Occupational Therapy
Tertiary Classification: products
Place & Date Made: Aradale Mental Hospital (Ararat Asylum), Ararat, Victoria, Australia, circa 1890

This item was previously listed as being made in 1867, the year the Ararat Mental Asylum opened, but an assessment of the design, construction and condition of the object suggests this is much to early. It probably dates from the last decade of the 19th century at the earliest.
Place & Date Used: Aradale Mental Hospital (Ararat Asylum), Ararat, Victoria, Australia, circa 1890-1960s

Actual period of use unknown. J Ward of the Aradale Mental Hospital (formerly the Ararat Asylum) opened in 1886 and was formally closed in 1988-89. The object was acquired by the Museum in 1985 and had probably been out of use for some decades.
References: card; oral history.


vera pickford Posted on 02 Feb 2010 3:40 PM
Is there anywhere that the records of inmates of Ararat Mental Hospital can be accessed.
I am trying to trace an ancestor, Daniel Fowler. Vera Pickford.
Discovery Centre Posted on 03 Feb 2010 10:29 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Vera. The Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV) hold the Ararat Mental Hospital records from 1867 - 1906. You can see information on these at http://www.prov.vic.gov.au/publications/documents/07427-P1.asp and contact PROV if you have any further questions about the hospital's records.
Lara Adams Posted on 12 Apr 2010 7:25 AM
Is this hacksaw actually used ON patients? im not a morbid i just have this project for school...
Discovery Centre Posted on 13 Apr 2010 10:34 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Lara, I think you'll find that the hacksaw was made by a patient rather than used on patients!

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