In 1887, Nellie Bly had herself committed to the notorious Blackwell's Island insane asylum in New York City with the goal of discovering what life was like for its patients. While there, she experienced firsthand the shocking abuse and neglect of its inmates, from inedible food to horrifyingly unsanitary conditions. Ten Days in a Mad-House established Bly as a pioneering female journalist and remains a classic of investigative reporting.
"Laurel Merlington was the perfect voice to narrate"
Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864, was an American journalist, author, and charity worker who received initial renown after writing a stinging expose of the mistreatment of the mentally ill while faking insanity and living undercover at a New York mental institution. At a time when women were just beginning to break into the field of journalism, the type of undercover investigative reporting undertaken by Bly set an important precedent, allowing her to successfully pioneer working in the male dominated field of newspaper writing.
"Ten Days of Reality - Ten Days of Hopelessness"
No one could protect her once she was inside. No friend would hear her if she screamed. A brilliant undercover journalist and actress, Nellie Bly is admitted into Blackwell's Island asylum in New York as a homeless "crazy" lady. What will she be in 10 days?
"Pioneer of Immersion Journalism"
In 1888, Nellie Bly, a feisty, investigative reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World newspaper, pitched a story idea of traveling around the world in 75 days to beat the record achieved by Phileas Fogg, the character in Verne's book. While the editor thought it a great idea, he naturally thought the trip should be made by a man. The idea was shelved for over a year.
"Thanks be for public domain & ingenuity of editor!"
Nineteenth-century reformer Susan B. Anthony advocated for many causes, including limitations on alcohol access and abolition of slavery. However, she is best known for her tireless efforts as a suffragist seeking equal and civil rights for women. Nellie Bly was a courageous and feisty female reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's The World newspaper in the late 1800s. In this landmark interview, Anthony discusses her history in several areas of social reform.