<i>Mental Defectives in Virginia</i> illustration
Original Author: E.R. Johnstone
Created: 1915
Medium: Printed book page

Mental Defectives in Virginia illustration

This illustration, meant to depict E. R. Johnstone’s classifications of what he defined as “feeble-minded” people, appeared in the 1915 report Mental Defectives in Virginia, issued by the State Board of Charities and Corrections. The image depicts five different levels of the “feeble-minded,” next to steps indicating what work they are capable of completing. An “Idiot” is at the bottom of the steps, with the following categories ascending step by step: “Low Grade Imbecile,” “Medium Imbecile,” “High Grade Imbecile,” and “Moron” at the top. The report recommended segregation and sterilization of the feeble-minded.