National Museum of Health and Medicine, J-9 DHA Silver Spring United States
During World War I, many institutions diverted resources and energy to the war effort. St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC, was no exception. Originally known as the Government Hospital for the Insane when it was established in 1855, St. Elizabeths was the first national mental hospital in the United States. The National Museum of Health and Medicine houses the BlackburnNeumann Collection from St. Elizabeths.1 The collection, started by Blackburn 18841911 and continued by neuropathologist Meta Neumann19241980, was transferred to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in 1989 and consists of 15,000 complete case studies, 100,000 glass slides, 1,350 formalinized brains, and over 5,000 photographs, representing the full spectrum of mental and neurologic disorders. Unique objects from this collection, such as a box of World War I lanternslides titled Infections and Parasitic Diseases and some Brain Tumors Fig. 1 illustrate the impact of war on institutions on the home front, particularly hospitals.