64 Years Since Wundt’s Lab Destroyed

Wundt's laboratory, ca. 1910According to the “Today in the History of Psychology” website, on this day in 1943 allied bombing over Leipzig, Germany destroyed Wilhelm Wundt‘s psychology laboratory. Wundt’s lab, first opened in 1879, is usually cited as the first laboratory in the world to have been dedicated specifically to experimental psychological research. It was the research site of over 100 doctoral dissertations, including those of Germans Hugo Münsterberg, Oswald Külpe, and Emil Kraepelin; Americans James McKeen Cattell, Frank Angell, and Lightner Witmer; as well as Englishmen Edward B. Titchener and Charles Spearman. Cattell’s 1888 Mind article, “The Psychological Laboratory at Leipsic” gives us an idea of what it was like to work there. There is an online introduction to and translation of Wundt’s classic 1874 textbook, Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie (Principles of Physiological Psychology).

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.