Medicine: Manteno Madness

On a flat plain 48 miles south of Chicago lie 60 squat red-brick buildings. They house the 5,500 insane patients and 760 employes of Manteno State Hospital. Finished in 1937, this dreary-neat plant boasts many a modern improvement, including special wells, tapping a limestone water-table 17 feet underground, which supply the hospital with water. Life at Manteno rolled along with the quiet, machinelike monotony common to State institutions until one day last August, when a half-dozen patients complained of diarrhea.

Hospital doctors examined them, reported them to the Board of Health as dysentery cases. Next day the number had tripled, and State...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!