Nellie Bly

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Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

Elizabeth Cockrane Seaman was born on May 5, 1884 in Cochran's Mill, PA. Her father and mother were both widowed, and her father had 10 children from the first marriage while her mother had none. Unfortunately, her father died when she was 6 and he left them without a legal will or claim on the estate that he owned. Because of this, she was eventually forced to drop out of school at age 15 due to fincancial problems. Years later, she was offered a job as a news reporter for The Pittsbugh Dispatch, where she earned her pen name of Nellie Bly (which derived from a Stephen Foster song). When she finally transferred to the New York World newspaper was her career as an undercover journalist officially began.

Problem with Asylums:-asylums were overcrowded and filthy with no sanitation.-nurses tortured most of the patients.-people with all kinds of diseases shared the same materials and everyone else.-staffed by untrained and unqualified individuals-patients shackled to walls in cold, dark, and cramped cells which allowed very little movement.-Patients were forced to sit among their own waste which was never cleaned.

Effort and Impact: -played an insane person and lived in an asylum for ten days.-wrote a book: Ten Days in a Madhouse to explain the horrors of the asylum-helped public understand the truth about the treatment of the mentally ill-influenced muckracking movement.-led to reforms including a larger budget for asylums-The city put in three million dollars for asylum improvements. -The public realized the cituation, and started to make chance.

Personal Motivation:-believed she could be just as successful as a woman-money.-undercover work was one of her first assignments for the New York World newspaper.-She wanted to contribute to society, and show that women were just as important as men.-Her father died at the age of six which contributed to her poineering spirit to get the truth. -She understood what it was like to mistreated and poor which is why she wanted to help the ones less fortunate tp her.

Griffin SchutzNolan Shay

"I made a point of telling the doctors I was sane and asked to released, but more I endeavered to asure them of my sanity, the more they doubed it." -Nellie Bly

"After several months confinement the thoughts of the busy world grow faint, and all the poor prisoners can do is sit and ponder over their hopeless fate."- Nellie Bly

Other Adventures-She also posed as a sweatshop worker to expose poor working conditions of women. -In 1888 Bly suggested to her editor at the New York World that she take a trip around the world, attempting to turn the fictional Around the World in Eighty Days. She completed her vast journey in 72 days.


Blackwell Asylum"Human Rat trap"


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