Ads From The 1800s

 
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I have to admit that when I first read the word "sanitarium," I thought of an insane asylum.  However, the content of the ad made me question my initial presumption and piqued my interest enough that I embarked on a researching scavenger hunt of sorts.  Apparently, a sanitarium was a 19th century version of a hospital. They were often located in mountainous regions or near the ocean - places that people associated with clean air and water, since the air of 19th century cities was very polluted.  Notice in the ad above how the emphasized words (in bold) are "air," "magnificent water," and "scenery."

A sanitarium was originally a long-term care facility for people suffering from tuberculosis (TB) before the development of antibiotics.  However, many of these facilities also took on other patients, such as invalids and those suffering from other communicable diseases.  According to the Transactions of the...session of the American Institute of... (that's the actual title!) by the American Institute of Homeopathy, Walter's Sanitarium opened for patients in 1878, under the executive officer, Robert Walter, M.D..  In 1897, the value of the hospital property was $150,000, it had 120 beds and 500 patients (not sure how the math worked out on that one), and four patients died that year. 

I thought that the Walter's Sanitarium ads had remarkably good looking pictures for advertisements from the late 1800s.  I also found the "amenities" to be quite extensive: baths (electric and galvanic), Swedish movements (both mechanical and manual), electricity (static, galvanic, and faradic), oxygen, vacuum, bay windows, hydraulic elevators, electric bells, extensive natural park, appliances operated by steam, post office, long-distance telephone, livery, dairy, library, steam heat and open grates, sun parlor, orchestra and entertainment, artesian well, and so much more!  What more could you want in a "health resort"!

Most of the general information available on this facility seems to be contained in their own advertisements.  Here are a few other examples of ads that this facility ran in periodicals, books, newspapers, and other printed works:


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