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Medieval Torture, The Rack

Medieval Torture, The Rack

C044/7883

Rights Managed

38.6 MB (4.1 MB compressed)

4350 x 3099 pixels

36.8 x 26.2 cm ⏐ 14.5 x 10.3 in (300dpi)

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Credit

NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The rack is a torture device consisting of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, slightly raised from the ground, with a roller at one or both ends. The victim's ankles are fastened to one roller and the wrists are chained to the other. As the interrogation progresses, a handle and ratchet mechanism attached to the top roller are used to very gradually increase the tension on the chains, inducing excruciating pain. By means of pulleys and levers this roller could be rotated on its own axis, straining the ropes until the sufferer's joints were dislocated and eventually separated. One gruesome aspect of being stretched too far on the rack is the loud popping noises made by snapping cartilage, ligaments or bones. Usually, the victim's shoulders and hips would be separated and their elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles would be dislocated.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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