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NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NYPL / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Birching is a corporal punishment with a birch rod, typically applied to the recipient's bare buttocks, although occasionally to the back or shoulder. A birch rod is a bundle of leafless twigs bound together to form an implement for administering corporal punishment. In some prisons and reformatories a wooden apparatus known as birching donkey or birching pony was specially constructed for birchings. As there were no detailed rules, prisons and police stations devised, adapted and used many different contraptions under various names that juvenile and adult offenders were bent over for punishment, some models also allowed a standing or leaning position for other implements.
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