Broca goniometer for measuring angles of the face, France, 1862-1900

Made:
1862-1900 in France
maker:
Unknown

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

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

Broca goniometer for determining the "facial angle" and "facial triangle" in anthropometrical studies, invented by Paul Broca. No maker marked, French, 1862-1900

Used to measure the ‘Jacquart’ angle of the face, the two arms of the device are placed on either side of the skull. The vertical measure is placed on the skull so the angle from brow to jaw can be read off the graduated dial at the bottom.

The ‘Jacquart’ angle and other measurements of the face, such as the extension of the jaw, were used by anthropologists in the 1800s to classify human types and ‘races’, in the mistaken belief that some human groups were more evolved than others. Human types were then placed on an evolutionary ladder, inevitably with Europeans at the top. The device was invented by Paul Broca (1824-80), a French surgeon and anthropologist.

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Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
1980-1101
Materials:
brass, instrument, boxwood
type:
goniometer
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • goniometer
credit:
Christie's South Kensington Limited
status:
Permanent collection

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