This was taken at Eastern State Penetentiary in Philadelphia, PA. The hallway, abandoned since 1971, held prisoners since 1829. Philadelphia was expanding more rapidly than anticipated. The cell block was completed in 1831 and was the first in the prison to have a second floor. Notice the bars above blocking a potential shortcut for prisoners on the second floor.
This was the first penitentiary in the world. The notion of serving time was new. Prisoners were typically branded, whipped or put in stockades at the center of town. The Quakers thought that if the criminal was given housing and food, they would have time to read the only book provided, the Christian bible, and change their lives.
Prisoners had a single window in each of their cells and were permitted into an exercise yard for one hour per day during which time they would have a bag placed over their heads so they would not be able to see any other prisoners or guards. At the time, the long term effects of solitary confinement were not known.
Photo by John Iwasz, Philadelphia - USA.
Take a look!