IV. The Rise of the Institutions 1800 - 1950 E. 1925 to 1950: Invisibility and Abandonment
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When the U.S. entered World War II, many attendants at public institutions were drafted, leaving a shortage of workers. Admissions to public institutions, however, continued to increase. Many institutions closed some of their colonies and placed more residents in each building to economize. Some institutions placed two residents to a bed and in hallways.


Institutions addressed their worker shortage by employing conscientious objectors. Records of their observations raised public awareness of the conditions of public institutions. In 1948, Albert Deutsch wrote Shame of the States, a photographic exposé of New York's Letchworth Village. Originally designed to avoid the problems common to larger institutions, Letchworth was considered one of America's better institutions. Deutsch's exposé, and other exposés of this time served to highlight the horrible conditions in all institutions. After decades of invisibility, persons living in public institutions were again the objects of attention.