Dubbahdee sent along an article about a cache of suitcases from the 1910's-60's found abandoned in an attic at an asylum for the insane in NY. When patients died, the staff had not destroyed the limited personal belongings, but kept them stored away against a day of relatives claiming them. (The Collector's Weekly general site it wa found on is interesting in itself.)
Some findings are poignant, some puzzling, many quite predictable. The 1960's predate my direct experience of state hospitals (though I did tour one in 1968), but when I started at NHH in 1978, there were many patients and staff who had been there for years, and many of the objects around dated from that time. The photos had a familiarity.
It put me in mind of the James Thurber short story The Night The Bed Fell - the era, and all that talk about attics, and Thurber's dementing grandfather is a somewhat loose connection, but I think you can follow it. The story was a favorite in our family, and I read it aloud to the boys several times.
You might wonder why I bring up putting eccentric grandfathers away, or into attics at all as I myself age, but I am safe for the present. Our particular attic can only be reached with great difficulty, and through a small opening. I do keep a wary eye out at times, and have sudden reasons to worry more about being set out on an ice floe.
As a final, full-circle irony, the link to the story is school based, and has a quiz following. But the quiz is for another Thurber short "The Man and The Unicorn" by mistake. And the second story is entirely appropriate to where this whole discussion started.