Had Bill W. or Dr. Bob been employed in some capacity at Worcester State Hospital for almost a decade in the 1930s, it’s a pretty safe bet there’d be more than a little written material on that patch of their lives in the recovery movement’s literature. E.M. Jellinek worked at Worcester for almost a decade, yet that phase of his research career is virtually a blank in his biographical treatments. As it happens, Jellinek wasn’t sitting on his hands at Worcester either; near the end of his tenure there he’d earned an appointment to the New York Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Worcester State Hospital was the first public asylum for the insane in New England; its doors opened on January 12, 1833. Almost a hundred years later, in 1927, a Schizophrenia Research Service (SRS) was launched at Worcester, under the direction of Roy G. Hoskins. The service had an unlikely initial chief external funding source in Katherine Dexter McCormick (1875-1967), wife of Stanley Robert McCormick (1874-1947), youngest son of McCormick harvester developer, Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-1884).
There are two convenient ciphers available in the literature for approaching Worcester’s Schizophrenia Research Service and Jellinek’s experience there.