Feigning madness! Know about journalist Nellie Bly’s most daring feat of spending 10 days inside a mental asylum in the Victorian era!

Facts of Nellie Bly

Full Name:Nellie Bly
Age:158 years 10 months
Birth Date:May 05,1864
Lucky Number:6
Lucky Stone:Emerald
Lucky Color:Green
Best Match for Marriage:Virgo, Cancer, Capricorn
Birth Place:Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania, US
Father's Name:Michael Cochran
Mother's Name:Mary Jane Cochran
Marital Status:Not Known
Height / How tall? : 1922-01-27
Hair Color:Brown
Eye Color:Brown
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Nellie Bly is an American journalist who would go to any extent to expose the truth of the matter. Likewise, she stayed inside a mental asylum to bring to the world the sordid reality of these places. Let us know the complete details of this brave venture and about her life!

Quick Biography

Her eventful career

Nellie Bly had a deep concern about the conditions of women especially those working in factories. The writer in her was brought out when she had responded to an article that was published in a local newspaper. The article titled ‘What Girls Are Good For’ appeared in the Pittsburg Dispatch and said that girls are only good at birthing and keeping house. She used a pseudonym to give feedback to this article.

Source: Pinterest (Nellie Bly)

The editor, George Madden was so impressed by her writing that he put an ad in the newspaper asking the writer to come forward and introduce herself.

She landed a full-time job with the newspaper in 1884-1885. She took the pen name of Nellie Bly and started writing on women and their conditions in the society. Hers was investigative journalism. She refrained from writing on fashion and the like which dissatisfied her. She became a foreign correspondent and traveled to Mexico and later put up her observations in a book called ‘Six Months in Mexico’. She fled Mexico after a threat of arrest by the local dictator Porfirio Diaz.

Source: Pinterest (Nellie Bly in later life)

In 1887, she left Pittsburg Dispatch and migrated to NY. She volunteered to do an undercover investigation of a mental asylum on Blackwell’s Island by feigning insanity for NY World.

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The editor said:

“I’m afraid about that chronic smile of yours,”

So Nellie Bly practiced and made a realistic face and along with her great act led her into the asylum. She took firsthand information on the deplorable conditions existing at the asylum. Her report and a later book called Ten Days in a Mad-House got her lasting fame. Not to mention that the Grand Jury did see into her report and made the necessary changes in the asylum.

She also suggested that she would take a trip around the world in 72 days and accomplished it. She also had patents registered under her name; novel milk can and stacking garbage can.

Source: Deadline (Kate Mara will star in and co-produce a film on Nellie Bly, it was said in September 2017)

She was considered the leading industrialists at that time. She continued to write and also had predicted that it will be 1920 before women in the US get the right to vote which turned out to be true.

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Nellie Bly’s birth and early days

Born as Elizabeth Jane Cochran on 5 May 1864 in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania, US, Nellie Bly’s father, Michael Cochran was a laborer and mill worker who later purchased the mill and surrounding area. Her father had 10 children with first wife Catherine Murphy and 5 with second wife, Mary Jane Kennedy.

Source: Gijn (Nellie Bly)

Nellie Bly was in a second lot of children. She had Irish roots and had studied in a boarding school for a term but had to drop out due to her father’s death. In 1880, they moved to Pittsburg and it was here that her writing career kicked off.

Nellie Bly’s personal life

Nellie Bly had married millionaire manufacturer Robert Seaman in 1895. There was a huge age gap between the two; Bly was 31 and Seaman 73 when they got married. When Seaman died in 1904, Nellie succeeded him and became the owner of his company called Iron Clad Manufacturing Co. She patented products. She had no children and died of pneumonia in NY City at St. Mark’s Hospital on 27 January 1922.

Source: the Pinsta (Nellie with husband)

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