Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Mary E. B.

Posted in Asylums, History, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 17/01/2014

We had a very productive day shooting in Rotterdam yesterday.  Again, most of the cases were largely empty, but there was still some interesting things to notice.  You can see the outline of the handle in dust from when the suitcase was stored in the racks at Willard.  I like how the museum staff left it as they found it before wrapping it up for storage.

This was all that we found in the case.  The New York Central luggage tag is beautiful.

This is what was written on the reverse site.  When I showed it to Peggy, she got a chill.  We both often react that way when the real life of the person is shown to us through their possessions.  Mary had a suitcase, she travelled, and at one time, she lived at 417 W. Main Street in Waterloo, NY.

9 Responses

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  1. rominanc said, on 17/01/2014 at 2:12 pm

    I have been followed this discovery on your blog. I like very much this. I am Social Worker and I found history and mental health so interesting and emotive. . . Congrats! I will follow the news from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  2. rominanc said, on 17/01/2014 at 2:21 pm

    I have been followed this discovery from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am social worker, and I found history and mental health very interesting and emotive… And, when you said “the real life of the person is shown to us” I wanted to check the adress on google maps and it shows the Main Street! A very beautiful place where this woman lived. Congrats!

    • cindif said, on 17/01/2014 at 7:52 pm

      Me too! I google mapped the address right away 🙂 .

      I love how Jon and Peggy do their work with such respectful and sometimes emotional connection to the owners of these wonderful suitcases.

    • Cathy said, on 11/02/2014 at 11:19 pm

      If only the house and the suitcases could talk…thank you for sharing the house picture!

  3. Lisa Gordon said, on 18/01/2014 at 1:06 pm

    Another treasure.
    Thank you!!!

  4. miab72 said, on 20/01/2014 at 1:52 pm

    I found your page about The cases so interesting, when I did some research about Willard Asylum. I could not stop reading and thought about them. Sad stories …

    • joncrispin said, on 20/01/2014 at 2:54 pm

      Maria, thank you for your interest in the project. Are you in Sweden? Best, Jon

      • miab72 said, on 20/01/2014 at 2:56 pm

        Hi Jon. Yes, I am in Sweden.


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