Fowler's phrenological head and a case of sixty phrenological heads, 1831-1896.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A phrenological head developed by the American brothers Lorenzo and Orson Fowler, to asist in the reading of a subject's skull, 1860-1896, and a case of small heads made in 1831 by William Bally of Dublin, Ireland, to illustrate the theories of phrenology. Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), a Viennese physician, proposed that the contours of the skull followed the brain's shape, with each region responsible for an aspect of personality or behaviour. Feeling the lumps was like reading the mind. Phrenology never achieved the status of an accredited science, although the principle that many functions are localised in the brain is now widely accepted.