by: Roger Dooley
Scientists have been trying to explain human behavior for centuries, and one of the more interesting techniques was phrenology, or the use of head shapes to characterize personality. This collection of tiny heads is from the British Science Museum, which explains:
Phrenology originated with Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), a German physician, assisted by his colleague, Johann Kaspar Spurzheim (1809-72). Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Gall and Spurzheim eventually disagreed and went on to promote rival systems of phrenology… A wide range of different heads are present. For instance, head number 54 is that of a scientific man; head number 8 is recorded as the head of an ‘idiot’.
See more tiny head pictures and lots more cool stuff at the Science Museum’s History of Medicine website. One has to wonder whether some clever 19th-century marketer had the idea of classifying potential customers by the shapes of their heads…