Society for the Entertainment of Shut-ins, 1908 [annual report]


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Society for the Entertainment of Shut-ins, 1908 [annual report]


The Society for the Entertainment of Shut-Ins (SESI) was founded in 1901 by the Rev. George W. Shinn, D. D. in Boston, Massachusetts. Shinn was the rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Newton, Ma. 

According to these documents, the Society aimed “to relive the monotony and pain of a shut-in life…Its original plan included giving entertainments in hospitals and other institutions…the present work is chiefly among isolated invalids, and almost entirely with chronic sufferers, 'whom the Lord has shut in.'” 

p. 4 "Many invalids would be glad to dispose of their handiwork and orders for needle work of all kinds, paper flowers, painting, etc., can be filled. It would be a great help if some of the members of the society would undertake a sale of this work, thus helping the Shut-Ins to help themselves." 

p. 8 "In January, 1907, this Society became affiliated with the Shut-In Society, and a number of invalids were made members of the larger organization, whose scope is world-wide but whose mission of cheer is largely carried on by correspondence, and which as a society does not give any material assistance. From the first the two have worked in harmony although not officially connected."


Shinn, George W.




Simmons University Library


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Learn more: 
The Shut-in Society. An association of invalids who correspond with one another. San Francisco Call, Volume 67, Number 165, 4 May 1890, California Digital Newspaper Collection 
Old Age Assistance: An Overview, Social Welfare History Project 
Aid For The Aged: Title I of the Social Security Act, Social Welfare History Project 
Achenbaum, W.A. and Carr, L.C. A Brief History of Aging Services in the United States, American Society on Aging


Shinn, George W., “Society for the Entertainment of Shut-ins, 1908 [annual report],” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed May 20, 2024,