Skeleton with phrenological skull, Europe, 1801-1900
- Science Museum, London
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In the 1800s, phrenology became popular with large numbers of people but soon became controversial within medical circles. Phrenologists believed that the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the overlying skull) determined personality. Phrenologists also disagreed among themselves, as is demonstrated by this skull. One half of the head shows the system according to Franz Joseph Gall (1758 –1828), a German physician and founder of phrenology, and the other half shows the system favoured by his colleague, Johann Gaspar Spurzheim (1776-1832). The labels are written in French.