DIVINING AN ANSWER: J.B. Rhine’s early experiments at Duke University employed a set of cards named “the Zener deck” after its inventor, Karl Zener, one of Rhine’s collaborators. The deck consists of 25 cards, with five of each symbol: square, circle, cross, squiggly lines, and star. Here, Rhine is shown testing a woman for ESP using the cards in the presence of an assistant (right).
In the late 1930s the Lancashire town of Bolton witnessed a ground-breaking social experiment. Over three years, a team of ninety observers recorded, in painstaking detail, the everyday lives of ordinary working people at work and play – in the pub, dance hall, factory and on holiday. Their aim was to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’.
Early 20th century photos from the Philadelphia Home for Infants, which merged with the Children’s Aid Society.
Orphaned or abandoned children in search of new families traveled west on trains like this one to Kansas, c. 1900.
Thomas Gibson’s plan for a workhouse as included in Henry Fielding, Proposal for Making Effectual Provision for the Poor, 1753
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Alan MacEachen, Minister of National Health and Welfare in Lester B. Pearson’s government, shown shortly after he introduced the Medical Care Act in July 1966.
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Social worker Eileen Younghusband (1902-1981). . . is in several ways an important part of 20th century social work history. She was active during the most decisive formative decades of the welfare state, contributing significantly – particularly through committee work and reports – to the development of systems and institutions at national level in the UK.
The 20th-century ideas and practices aimed at “improving human stock” known as eugenics were influential across the world, including in Canada. In 1928, the province of Alberta introduced the Sexual Sterilization Act, which promoted the practice of surgical sterilization for those deemed “mental defectives”, a practice in effect until 1972. British Columbia was the only other Canadian province to enact comparable eugenic sterilization legislation, which was in place until 1973. This History has special significance for people with disabilities and others marginalized by eugenic ideas today.