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Television Mailbox

Television Mailbox

St. Joseph, Missouri

Lunatics in lunatic asylums have a reputation for odd behavior, but rarely leave exhibit-worthy relics. Not so at the former St. Joseph State Mental Hospital, now the Glore Psychiatric Museum, which displays this 1960s television packed with bizarre, handwritten notes. According to its accompanying signage, the TV's back-side ventilation slots were routinely stuffed with pieces of paper by a male patient. When the TV was opened in late 1971, over 500 secret notes tumbled out, some charred from the heat of the television's tubes and transistors -- they'd been in there a long time. Many of the scraps, written by the patient on anything he could find -- including index cards, official hospital stationary, and pages torn out of magazines -- appear to be answers to questions he'd been asked by psychiatrists over his years of hospitalization to determine his mental state.

"It is not known," the exhibit concludes, "if the patient was just storing the writings, if he thought he was mailing them, or if he thought the information would be transmitted through the television set."

Also see: Glore Psychiatric Museum

Glore Psychiatric Museum

Address:
3408 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph, MO
Directions:
I-29 exit 47 (Frederick Ave.) Head west about a mile. After 36th St. you'll see the Glore sign and building on the left. Be careful not to drive into the entrance for the prison next door -- they can be a little jumpy.
Hours:
M-Sa 10-5, Su 1-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
816-232-8471
Admission:
Adults $6. Not recommended for children under 15.
RA Rates:
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