'Orthometre', eye measuring device for criminal identification system, Paris, France, 1895

Made:
1895 in Paris
designer:
Alphonse Bertillon

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

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

Orthometre by Bertillon, 1895. View of instruments in case.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Orthometre by Bertillon, 1895. Full view, graduated matt black perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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

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

Orthometre brass eye measuring instrument in velvet lined wooden case, 1895. Designed by Alphonse Bertillon in Paris, France as a criminal identification tool.

The protrusion or retraction of the eyeballs is measured by an Orthometre. It was designed by French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon (1853–1914) for his ‘anthropometrics’ system. This recorded detailed physical measurements to identify individuals. Bertillon used various tools to measure height, head circumference, arm length, leg length, finger lengths and eyeball protrusion. His system was used to identify suspects in criminal cases. The system was extremely popular in France, leading to many convictions. It was superseded by more accurate and less labour-intensive fingerprinting. Bertillon pioneered many modern forensics techniques such as the ‘mug shot’, which is the standardised photography of criminals.

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Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
1985-1723
Measurements:
case open: 450 mm x 500 mm x 430 mm,
overall (closed): 55 mm x 500 mm x 430 mm, 2.76 kg
type:
anthropometrical measure
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • anthropometric equipment
credit:
Brieux, Alain
status:
Permanent collection

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