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Phrenology Comes to America
Psychiatric Services 1976; doi:
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1976 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

A "diagnostic" hat imported from France was used at the State Lunatic Asylum at Utica, New York, in the 1840s in an attempt to reveal a patient's state of mind by locating the bumps on his head. As the hat was placed on the head, the side pieces expanded according to its size and shape. Movement of the side pieces caused movement of the small needle-like projections on the top of the hat. A piece of tissue paper on top of the projections was punctured by the needles when the lid of the hat was closed, thus leaving a permanent record of the peculiarities of the specific head being measured. The hat is now in the Utica Psychiatric Center Museum.

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phrenology
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