Spurzheim arrives in America!… 175 years ago.

Johann SpurzheimAccording to Warren Street’s website “Today in the History of Psychology,” on this date in 1832, “phrenologist Johann Gaspar Spurzheim arrived in the United States for a public lecture tour. Spurzheim died during this tour, on November 10, 1832 [the THP website says 1932, but I am certain it is a typo]. Phrenology enjoyed widespread popular acceptance as a personality assessment tool in nineteenth century America.”

For some of the best recent work on phrenology, see John Van Wyhe‘s book, Phrenology and the Origins of Victorian Scientific Naturalism (Ashgate, 2004). Van Wyhe has also compiled one of the best websites dedicated to the history of phrenology. Until April 2007 it was housed at British Library Net, but it has since gone off-line and he is looking for another internet host for the site. Van Wyhe is currently the director and founder of The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online.

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.