Poorhouses and the Origins of the Public Old Age Home

Public welfare in America-and its often ungainly structures-is as old and as varied as the history and social experiences of the last three hundred years. In the nineteenth century the poorhouse became the central arch of public welfare policy. Even in the twentieth century it did not disappear, but was gradually transformed into the public old age home.

Author(s): Michael B. Katz

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Volume 62, Issue 1 (pages 110–140)
Published in 1984