[A]t the time when it was used, the Utica Crib was considered more humane than other forms of restraints for patients in mental institutions.
[The] device is called a Utica Crib is because it was invented at the Utica State Hospital, (originally called the New York State Lunatic Asylum) which opened in Utica, New York in 1843.
Literally shaped like a crib, the sides and lid were made of spindles, which allowed airflow. The difference was the Utica Crib was adult-sized and had a lid, which could be fastened over the patient. The person restrained could not sit up nor get out.
The bottom was cushioned with layers of straw. Additionally, the crib could be suspended with chains and rocked to calm the patients. The idea behind it was to give the patient a place to rest in a secure, protected space.