Orson Fowler, US phrenologist

Orson Fowler, US phrenologist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Orson Squire Fowler (1809-1887), US phrenologist. Fowler studied in New York, USA, and graduated in 1834. With his brother, he opened a phrenological office in New York City. Phrenology is the now- discredited pseudoscience that claimed a person's character can be determined by the shape of their head. Fowler lectured and wrote on the subject of phrenology and other health topics for the next 50 years in various locations in and around the state of New York. His books included The Self Instructor in Phrenology and Physiology (1849). He is also remembered for popularising the octagon house, a unique architectural style of octagon- shaped houses. Taken between 1855 and 1865, this photograph is from the Brady-Handy Collection.

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