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

Made:
1910-1920 in France
maker:
Unknown

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

Science Museum Group
© 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.

Details

Category:
Ophthalmology
Object Number:
A606431
Materials:
glass, metal and wood
Measurements:
overall Legs unfolded: 335 mm x 224 mm x 545 mm,
overall Legs Folded: 225 mm x 224 mm x 545 mm,
type:
psychological test
credit:
C Davis Keeler Limited