"Close Up" - (from my adventure log:
January 12, 2002

You wouldn't want to be looking at this item very close for very long. But some unfortunate people did. This is a detail of a cell from the Arizona Territorial Prison in Yuma.

The prison's initial cells were built in 1876 and remained in use as a prison until 1909, when overcrowding forced a new prison be built elsewhere in Florence, AZ. These cells were constructed of STRAP IRON AND GRANITE ROCK, which was plastered and white-washed. The iron was shipped in from California via steamboat, but the prisoners themselves quarried the granite from on site.

Each of those gates led to a cell, approximately 9ft by 12ft across, into which six men would be placed. On both long sides of the cell, three beds were stacked. 'Bed' is a loose term. The prisoners originally had wooden beds, with straw mats, but the straw attracted bed bugs. So the wooden and straw 'beds' were scrapped, for use of narrow iron 'beds'. No doubt the prisoners got better sleep on the hard iron surface, for at least their sleep was not disturbed by bed bug bites.