Human skull, marked with phrenological divisions, United Kingdom, 1821-1899

1821-1899 in United Kingdom

Human skull, marked with phrenological divisions, from the British Phrenological Society.

This human skull is marked into sections and was used for phrenological consultations. Phrenologists believed the shape and size of areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Phrenology was popular with large numbers of people in the 1800s. There were over 200 phrenologists active in Britain in the first half of the century. However, it became controversial within the medical profession and was dismissed as unfounded. Despite this, the British Phrenological Society, who held this skull in its collections, did not disband until 1967.

On display

Science Museum: Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

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Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
  • animal remains
Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

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