Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/686

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the whole colony is Bethel—is that it admits of the most minute classification of patients. Each house is, to a certain extent, autonomous, the ten or twelve persons who live in it forming, as it were, a separate family. At the head of it is a House Father, generally a Westphalian Brother, who passes his whole time with the patients, working with them, and throwing himself heart and soul into their interests.

Meanwhile, Dr. von Bodelschwingh and his colleagues had been compelled to grapple with another serious difficulty. As the colony increased in size it became evident that, if it were to continue a success, other occupations besides agriculture must be provided. Some of the patients were too weak physically to bear the fatigue and exposure of an out-of-door life in winter; others, especially the artisans, manifested a decided distaste for the work. As it is of the utmost importance that epileptics should have congenial occupation, it was decided to open workshops, so that the men might be able to practice the special craft in which they had been trained, or for which they had the most natural aptitude. One by one various industries have been established in the colony. In very early days a regular building department was organized, and attached to it are now workshops for painters, joiners, locksmiths, and cabinet-makers, as well as a brick-kiln and a sawmill. Shoemakers' and tailors' shops have also been opened. A linen mill, too, now gives occupation to a number of the colonists, while the printing office and the book-binding works are the pride of the whole place. Thus, when an artisan now arrives in Bethel he can at once be set to some work to which he is accustomed, a fact which contributes not a little to his happiness, for an epileptic, after a certain age, seems almost incapable of turning his hand to a new occupation. Most of the things made are consumed in the colony, but if there is any surplus stock it is sold in Bielefeld. The organizing of these industries was no easy task. An attempt was made at first to employ as overseers in the workshops such of the patients as were skilled artisans, but it proved a failure. Epileptics are, as a rule, lacking in initiative; and they have neither the patience nor the self-control necessary for directing the labor of others, especially when these others are themselves of defective intellect. It therefore became necessary to appoint a paid overseer for each factory, an arrangement which has materially increased the working expenses of the colony. From first to last, in fact, these workshops have proved a somewhat costly experiment. In spite of the most rigid economy in their management, not only are they now worked at a loss, but there is no prospect of their ever becoming self-supporting. One serious expense in connection with them is the salaries of the labor overseers, another is the enormous amount of raw material