by Mark Osterman


Phrenology was an interesting bit.


My great, great grandfather was a phrenologist as is my current boss here at the Eastman Museum! I included it in the act (for the first eight years or so) because I had the opportunity to purchase a machine for making circumferential measure-ments. We used this on a volunteer and then raised a large painted phrenological head (bearing a chart) from behind the stage through pulleys and ropes.


As it rose above the stage, the eye would turn towards the volunteer. We made up information about the character of the volunteer and then taught him to play the Humanatone Nose Flute on stage...bringing us to the Humanatone Nose Flute pitch.


Illustration Phrenology by John Robinson



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