Phrenological calliper(?), possibley nickel-plated brass, from the British Phrenological Society, by Arnold and Sons, London.
Not much is known about this instrument. It is thought that it was used by phrenologists to take accurate measurements of the head. Phrenology was a practice based on the belief that personality could be read from the bumps and lumps of someone’s skull (and thus the underlying structure of the brain). Made by Arnold & Sons, surgical instrument makers, the callipers were once owned by the British Phrenological Society. Founded in 1886, the Society closed in 1967.
- Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
- Object Number:
closed: 20 mm x 237 mm x 140 mm, .2 kg
fully open: 20 mm x 345 mm x 175 mm, .2 kg
- furnishing and equipment
- measuring device - instrument
- Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.