Poster advertising lectures on phrenology, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, 1851

1851 in Trowbridge
J Diplock

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Lectures on phrenology, physiology, etc. April 3-10 1851. On yellow paper, 58x23cm. In frame, 64x28.5x2cm.

Lectures by Mr Droffnore on the subject of phrenology were given free of charge at the Mechanics Institute in Towbridge, Wiltshire, England. Mechanics Institutes were set up to give education to the working classes, especially in technical subjects. Lectures and exhibitions often came with the tagline ‘Know thyself’. Phrenology, which involved ‘reading’ the lumps and bumps of someone’s skull and thus the underlying brain, was believed to give an indication of a person’s character, fitting with the ‘Know thyself’ tag line. Phrenology was hugely popular in the 1800s with over two hundred phrenologists active in Britain in the first half of the century. But it quickly became a source of controversy as far as the medical profession were concerned. The British phrenological society was disbanded in 1967.

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