Mary's Marketing
Polk Center Notecards
My biography has been included in a number of Marquis Who’s Who Reference Books: In the World, in America, of
American Women and in American Education.

I have worked at Polk Center, a large state facility for people with developmental disabilities, for over 30 years as a
direct care aide, special education teacher and program specialist.  Presently my position is Qualified Mental
Retardation Professional.  For the people on my caseload, I chair their annual and special team meetings and
coordinate needed services.  I have completed a multitude of projects while working there.  My Masters’ thesis is a 450
page report on the history of Polk Center, starting when it opened in 1897.  I researched much literature and recorded
interviews with people who lived or worked there or who were affiliated with the placed.  I had a video on the history of
Polk Center made professionally.  Much of Polk’s history is reflective of other similar places throughout the United
States.  This is what peaked my interest in the collection of glass negatives.

I bought a large glass negative collection of old photos from the early 1900’s, taken at Polk Center, Polk, PA.  I had
contact prints made, the pictures scanned and note cards made.  The photos depict mostly people who lived at Polk
Center with a few staff shown.  Many years ago, Polk Center and places like it were mostly self-sufficient.  The
expectation was that the residents would develop as much independence as possible.  Virtually everything needed for
the institution to sustain itself was produced on-site.  Residents helped maintain a productive farm that provided the
facility with vegetables, meat, and dairy products.  Baked goods were supplied by an on-site bakery.  Power was
generated by the steam turbines on the grounds.  Other residents worked in on-site shops that produced mattresses,
clothes, and many of the other necessities of life.

A number of significant factors changed Polk’s approach, such as a different philosophy; Stanford-Biner IQ test
determining who would qualify to be placed in State-run facilities; medical advances; laws; economy; more
opportunities for various placements; and many other events.  Today, many capable people who used to live at large
institutions now live in and contribute to the community.

These notecards can be purchased two different ways.  One is a collection of twelve photos dealing with sewing,
making lace, weaving, and the finished product.  The other is a grouping of twelve out of 50 miscellaneous photos
depicting scenes from Polk Center in the early 1900’s.

In the USA, the price of the cards is $20 for 12 different pictures.  The price includes packaging and postage.  Out of
the USA, add $2 extra for postage.
Printable Order Form
Ordered notecards will not be watermarked as seen above.