Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bass-ball in 1836

I found a reference to "bass-ball" in the Jan. 1838 issue of The British and Foreign Medical Review, quoting a 1836 study (from the Mclean Asylum in Boston) that was originally published in the May 1, 1837 edition of the American Medical Intelligencer.

The article is titled: Moral Management of the Insane in America.

On page 240 and 241 of The British and Foreign Medical Review the report states:
Our amusements are various and numerous. We keep a carriage, two carioles, one chaise and four horses, which are devoted almost exclusively to the use of the patients. Many of them ride every fair day, and have, the last year, ridden ten thousand miles. The males are also engaged at bowls, quoits, bass-ball, fishing, fancy painting, walking, dancing, reading, swinging, and throwing the ring, &c.

The report goes on to talk about other opportunities for the patients: recreational, religious, work and diversion related.

This came from a search for early references to Baseball, in any form. I subscribe to the 19cBB discussion list, mainly for Baseball in the 19th century. I'm not very active on the list, and I even admit to deleting some of the messages that come through if they don't interest me, but I do try to add something every so often. Larry McCray is working on Project Protoball. I sent him this information already.

I found the reference on the Google Books site. Here is the link to this copy of the The British and Foreign Medical Review.

As a bonus, here's the bookplate from the front of the journal...

1 comment:

Steve said...

Neat stuff. I'm sure somebody knew about the alternate spelling, but I'm glad you're spreading the news.

Genealogy. Baseball history. What's next - 386 computers?