In 2010, the Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. established People Ink Press, dedicated to publishing books in the field of disability history.

Featured below is a detailed list of publications from our Abandoned History Series™, available for purchase at our Museum Store or online at http://store.museumofdisability.org/books-cards/
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Dr. Skinner’s Remarkable School for “Colored Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Children” 1857-1860
Title:
Dr. Skinner’s Remarkable School for “Colored Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Children” 1857-1860

Authors:
James M. Boles, Ed.D. and Michael Boston, Ph.D.

Publication Date:
October 1, 2010

Length:
37 pages


Just before the American Civil War, Dr. Platt H. Skinner, a pioneer educator of people with disabilities, operated three schools for African-American children who were blind, deaf, or both. An ardent abolitionist, Dr. Skinner was forced to move his school twice. The second school, the subject of this book, was located in Suspension Bridge, New York, at the terminus of the Underground Railroad, on which he may have been a conductor. This book is published in association with the Museum of disABILITY History in hopes that it will raise awareness of the educational challenges that faced minority children with disabilities in the past.
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On the Edge of Town: Almshouses of Western New York
Title:
On the Edge of Town: Almshouses of Western N.Y.

Authors:
Lynn S. Beman and Elizabeth A. Marotta

Publication Date:
March 1, 2011

Length:
96 pages

 

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, towns and cities were bustling places in Western New York. People who could not afford to care for themselves were often sent to a building at the edge of town. Whether they were called almshouses, poorhouses, or county homes, these facilities have a mixed legacy that is both inspiring and controversial. This book tells the story of the almshouses of Western New York.
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When There Were Poor Houses: Early Care in Rural New York, 1808-1950
Title:
When There Were Poor Houses: Early Care in Rural New York, 1808 – 1950

Author:
James M. Boles, Ed.D.

Publication Date:
November 1, 2011

Length:
298 pages

 

To prevent them from slipping into the void of abandoned history, When There Were Poor Houses describes the institutions—some highly visible and others lesser known in and near Niagara County—that provided some of the earliest organized care for the blind, deaf, sick, disabled, insane, and destitute. Niagara County, a typical rural county of New York State, serves as a historical model for study of the various institutions – the poorhouses, almshouses, sanatoriums, asylums, orphanages, pest houses, widows’ houses, hospitals, and special schools in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Our predecessors, however harsh and outmoded their care seems now, labored under and along with societal and cultural attitudes that mandated a sense of responsibility toward the needy in their midst. Their early efforts provided a foundation for many of the programs in New York State that offer progressive services to its citizens today.

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An Introduction to the British Invalid Carriage, 1850 - 1978
Title:
An Introduction to the British Invalid Carriage, 1850 – 1978

Author:
Stuart Cyphus

Publication Date:
October 1, 2012

Length:
60 pages

 

This book covers over 128 years of British transportation for people with disabilities. Researched and written by invalid car enthusiast Stuart Cyphus, it contains rare photographs and details of these early adaptive devices—from the hand-propelled tricycles of the 1870s to the final withdrawal of all vehicles from service in 2004.
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Abandoned Asylums cover
Title:
Abandoned Asylums of New England: A Photographic Journey by John Gray

Publication Date:
December, 2012

Length:
220 pages

Abandoned Asylums of New England offers the work of photographer John Gray, who has captured the final throes of the once majestic monuments of medical treatment. This photographic journey into the world of urban exploration documents the state of some of New England’s storied temples of control, treatment, and rehabilitation of individuals with disabling conditions. The Museum of disABILITY History provides a historical context for these asylums that heightens the degree of entropy into which these feats of architectural grandeur have fallen. From the gigantic Kirkbride campuses to the airy tuberculosis hospitals, Gray’s photography reveals through its compositions the poignant echoes of the lives lived, and sometimes lost, at these vanishing asylums.

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The Gold Cure Institutes of Niagara Falls, NY, 1890s
Title:
The Gold Cure Institutes of Niagara Falls, NY, 1890s

Author:
James M. Boles, Ed.D.

Publication Date:
March 1, 2013

Length:
51 pages

 

The Gold Cure facilities are credited with developing an enlightened philosophy toward alcohol addiction that viewed it as a disease rather than a moral failing. They were a forerunner to Alcoholics Anonymous, as they eventually included support groups during and after treatment. Up to three times a day, patients were injected with the secret gold cure, afterward experiencing fear, painful muscle spasms, vomiting, choking, burning in the mouth, dizziness, loss of balance, and confusion. The extremely negative experience may have caused the patients to reconsider their bad habits. Proponents of these methods claimed to cure liquor, opium, morphine, other drug addictions, the tobacco habit, and nerve exhaustion.

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Cover
Title:

No Offense Intended: A Directory of Historical Disability Terms

Authors:
Natalie Kirisits, Douglas Platt, & Thomas Stearns

Publication Date:
September, 2013

Length:
104 pages

 

The Directory is the result of museum research into the history of early almshouses, hospitals, institutions, and schools. Most of the terms were early practitioners’ attempts to clarify and identify the nature and causes of diseases and deviations in human behavior. As you read the Directory, it is easily seen that, historically, yesterday’s diagnosis can, a few generations later, become negative and enter everyday language.
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