In past post, we've seen some of the strange practices they had. So, from the folks at Listverse, here is another!
Imprinting On The Eyes Of Condemned Criminals
Photo credit: The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice
Optography is the practice of analyzing the eyeball to reproduce the last image it saw. If that sounds nuts, it’s because it is. Not that this stopped the Victorians from trying. From 1880 onward, scores of condemned men were asked by scientists to look at dramatic things just before they were executed.
Wilhelm Kuhne led the charge. In 1880, he acquired the head of guillotined murderer Erhard Gustav Reif and examined his eyeballs for images of violent movement. As time went on, the experiments became more elaborate. One condemned man was asked to keep his eyes completely shut as he was led onto the scaffold and to snap them open the second before he was hanged. Strangely, he acquiesced.
Such experiments were so numerous that optography acquired a respectable sheen. As late as 1927, murderers destroyed their victims’ eyeballs to prevent identification by optography.
I reckon to some of the so-called scientists of that time, this somehow made perfect sense. Like I said, strange studies were going on at that time!
Coffee out on the patio this morning. I have some cheese cake I'll share.