Guy’s Hospital Dental School, Southwark, London, UK.
This skulls main purpose would have been for forensic dentistry or odontology, being the study of the structure, development, and abnormalities of the teeth. However it may well have been used for phrenology and for other medical purposes throughout its life at Guy’s hospital. There is a possibility that the skull is late nineteenth century, and Victorian in date. Based on the idea that as the skull takes its shape from the brain, the surface of the skull can be read as an index of psychological aptitudes and tendencies, skulls such as this were part of the jigsaw of Victorian medical study.
It was believed that by examining the shape and unevenness of a head or skull, one could discover the development of the particular cerebral ‘organs’ responsible for different intellectual aptitudes and character traits. For example, a prominent protuberance in the forehead at the position attributed to the organ of Benevolence was meant to indicate that the individual had a “well developed” organ of Benevolence and would therefore be expected to exhibit benevolent behaviour.
The photograph shows the officers of Guy’s Hospital Dental School in 1948 and the names that are present on the photograph read as: Gray, Walker, Dyer, Saunders, Robinson, Watson, Woolgar, Taylor, Farow, Rowe, Furnivall, Lefcovitch, Morris.