Test type apparatus for the detection of malingerers, France, 1910-1920

1910-1920 in France

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Test type apparatus for the detection of malingerers, invented by Bouchart, French

It is uncertain how this apparatus was used. It was made by a Mr Bouchart in France and consists of a black box with an eyepiece and lens at one end. It is described as a ‘test type apparatus’ for detecting malingerers and the French used it during the First World War. A ‘malingerer’ describes an individual who is work-shy or exaggerates medical symptoms for personal gain. This apparatus was probably intended to detect army recruits avoiding military duties through feigning blindness or lesser sight problems (‘ocular malingering’).

Detecting malingering was vigorously pursued by the authorities on all sides of the conflict. Men we would now diagnose with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were often accused of it. They were sometimes harshly punished.


Object Number:
glass, metal, wood
overall Legs unfolded: 335 mm x 224 mm x 545 mm,
overall Legs Folded: 225 mm x 224 mm x 545 mm,
psychological test
C Davis Keeler Limited

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.