Showing posts with label visitor statistics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label visitor statistics. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Visiting the Museum in the early years

Here's a bit I wrote some years ago, that may be of interest...

Opened to the public on April 16, 1867, the Museum drew around 6000 visitors by the end of the year. (Lamb, p. 43-4) By 1874, over 2600 people visited some months. (Parker to Otis, April 30, 1874) The standard hours for the Museum to be open, at least on Saturday, were 10 am to 2 pm. During the first years, the staff of the Museum worked from 9 am until 3 pm, Monday through Saturday; in January 1867 an hour was added to the end of the day. (Otis to Crane, January 17, 1874; Lamb p. 43) Even before opening to the general public, the Museum was known enough for Dr. S. Weir Mitchell's fictional story, "The Case of George Dedlow," to appear in the Atlantic Monthly in July 1866. Mitchell's Dedlow, who had lost both his legs during the war, was contacted by spirits during a seance. The spirits proved to be his amputated limbs, preserved in the Medical Museum. "A strange sense of wonder filled me, and, to the amazement of every one, I arose, and, staggering a little, walked across the room on limbs invisible to them or me. It was no wonder I staggered, for, as I briefly reflected, my legs had been nine months in the strongest alcohol." (Mitchell) Undoubtedly, readers of the story would have wished to visit the Museum to look for Dedlow's (fictional) limbs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Medical museum annual visitor stats

So from 1958-1968, the Army Medical Museum or Medical Museum of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology is on the Mall, at 7th and Independence, NW, where the Hirshhorn Museum stands now. Our visitorship peaked in 1966 with 3/4 of a million people - about what the Hirshhorn achieves now.

Year Annual visitation notes
1958 234384
1959 363136
1960 586697
1961 684606
1962 631297
1963 478194
1964 451000
1965 543680
1966 765157
1967 571293
1968 280000* *partially closed

So in 1968 we were forced off the Mall, and were going to be moved up to Walter Reed, after some years in storage which severely damaged the collections.

1969 0 closed
1969 0 closed
1971 28216 reopens at WRAMC

In 1971, the Museum reopens in a new wing on the Pathology Institute building.

1972 65688
1973 >60000
1974 50000* *partially closed

Visitors are finding us, but then we get closed again as the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences gets established in our space...

1975 0 closed
1976 0 closed
1977 0 closed
1978 639* *partially closed
1979 6818

So I'm wondering what will happen when we close again, due to the BRAC of Walter Reed.