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We do not take the study of human personality from the shape of the head very seriously and we emphatically reject the racist aspect associated with it, but we find the graphics and objects associated with the 19th century "science" visually interesting. We now have 12 phrenology heads in plaster, metal, and ceramic. All the heads are 20th century but we do have a selection of original 19th and early 20th century books, pamphlets and graphics including a color illustration from an old medical book that includes the phrenology areas as one of the lift-up layers of the head.

Jack has made a series of photographs with the heads and some antique Ouija boards he bought. (OH NO not the start of another collection!)

The bookcase shelf above contains some of our phrenology collection.

On the left is the top of a 1885 bill or receipt from Fowler & Wells for $12.50. We are not sure what is is for but seems to say "Oefale" and "Can you make us a report?"


This comic postcard from early in the 20th century shows Professor Phelum Bumps giving a phrenology reading.

The head on the right is a modern copy of a Fowler head. We have reproduction heads in sizes from 4 inches to 18 1/2 inches. Several are advertising pieces from the 1950s and 60s for pharmaceutical companies.

Jack would like to have an original 19th century head but Beverly thinks they are too expensive and the modern one are fine.


On the left is a postcard by Lucy Mabel Attwell. One of her typical round faced boys studies a phrenology book with his hand on the head of a little girl. The caption says "You are very fond of the boys!"

The phrenology chart above is a plate from an anatomy book that appears to be from the early years of the 20th century. An early version of this page included an interactive list of the areas of the head. Some change in Javascript caused it to stop functioning correctly. It will be restored once the problem has been solved.

  In May, 2000 a the Chesapeake Antiquarian Photographic Society visited Gibson's Photographic Gallery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We watched a fascinating demonstration of wet collodion photography and along with several other members had a half plate ambrotype portrait made. We carried along two of our phrenology heads and were photographed as phrenologist and client.

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**NOTE** All items on the Collection of Collections web site are in our private collection and are NOT for sale. From time to time duplicate items from our collection will be offered for sale in the Do You Remember This? shop on the GoAntiques cyber mall. Visit the Do You Remember This? inventory page for photographica and toaster related collectibles.

Please feel free to write us if you want to chat or share information about areas we collect but we will NOT give appraisals.

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Updated on 2/2004