The Ladd School


The Ladd School

Photographs, 35mm Slides


Captured on color reversal film between about 1958 and 1976, the nearly one thousand snapshots in this collection tell the story of life behind the walls of an arcane institution in a modern era.

Though most of the photographs are unlabeled and undated, and the names of their photographers long forgotten, their subjects -- from historic moments to the mundane -- are often immediately recognizable. And, whether intentional or not, there are some real flashes of brilliance among them; pictures so iconic they are like works of art.

Highlights include construction projects, ground-breaking ceremonies, and Independence Day parades. There are kite derbies and picnics. There are parties on the wards for residents, nurses, and matrons, and soirees for the gentry at the Superintendent's house. Candid photos of an aged Dr. Ladd and his young, second wife. Rare scenes from in and outside some of the institution's oldest buildings. Holidays, pageants, carnivals. Christmas trees in the dormitories. The dramatic search for a missing child. A bonfire. A man in a white union suit smiles proudly with his cow. A clown feeds a paraplegic man. An entire series of clowns.

See more on Facebook and Instagram.


 Collection Details

Over 1,000 full-color 35mm slides on Kodachrome, Ansochrome, and Ektachrome film.

1950s — 1980s
1,000+ slides, 2"x2"
Fair to Very Good, digitally restored
The Ladd School

Related Materials

Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble-Minded School on
Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble-Minded School on