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The American Lobotomy

UMW Blog by Kasey Moore


This blog was created for HIST 471E4: History of US Mental Institutions offered at the University of Mary Washington. The blog attempts to look at the development of the lobotomy from its beginnings in the 1930s to its decline in the 1960s. The US utilization of the lobotomy can primarily be attributed to Dr. Walter Freeman and his partner, Dr. James Watts. They were the leading experts in the American lobotomy and were largely responsible for its proliferation. This blog explores further the rise, height, and decline of the American lobotomy thorough the patient experience. Each patient represents a different phase in the history of the American lobotomy, while at the same time provides inside into the overall patient experience.  I hope you find this site both informative and enjoyable.


Media References

“Omens.” In Incidental. Esther Garcia, 2013. Accessed October 21, 2013.

The song is from a royalty free/creative commons website,

Pick and Choose: Walter Freeman (right) in the Operating Room with His Neurosurgery Partner James W. Watts. Courtesy of the Freeman Family. Accessed October 20, 2013.

The cover photograph is a commonly published photograph of Dr. Freeman and Watts performing a prefrontal lobotomy.





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