Tag Archives: phrenology

Franz Joseph Gall and phrenology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Franz Joseph Gall. By Zéphirin Félix Jean Marius Belliard. Via Wikimedia. For many reasons the work of Gall, when stripped of its excrescences, constituted an important landmark in the history of neurology. -Macdonald Critchley4 In the times of Galen, the location of the mind and spirit […]

Leeching and François-Joseph-Victor Broussais

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Broussais & leeching. Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica. The practice of bloodletting began with the Egyptians and was succeeded by the Greeks, Romans (including Galen), and healers in India. In medieval times it spread throughout Europe. The “leech craze” was so popular in the nineteenth century that it has […]

Roget and his Thesaurus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869). William. Drummond, after Eden Upton Eddis. c.1830s. Credit National Portrait Gallery  There was much more to Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869)(Fig 1) than his indispensable Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Fig 2).1 But little is remembered of his illustrious career in medicine and […]

Medical pseudoscience

Edwin D Babbitt (1825-1905), a medical graduate of Knox College, Galesburg, Il, developed an interest in arcane subjects early in life, publishing a book on penmanship, then switching to medical pseudoscience. He wrote books on chromotherapy, magnetism, and phrenology, claiming that these techniques combined with massage and lifestyle changes could cure any disease and eliminate […]

Géricault’s art of insanity

Caitlin Meyer Scotland   “Now I am disoriented and confused. I try in vain to find support; nothing seems solid, everything escapes me, deceives me. Our earthly hopes and desires are only vain fancies, our successes mere mirages that we try to grasp,” scrawled Théodore Géricault in a letter to his friend Dedreux-Dorcy in 1810.1 […]