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Phrenology in Bristol

Phrenology by Professor G Rudd in 1928 at 31 Lower Arcade, Bristol, England

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Explanation of Terms and Figures.


The scale for marking the relative strength and activity of the different conditions of the body and faculties of the mind is from 1 to 7.

Figure 1 - Indicating very small
Figure 2 - Small
Figure 3 - Moderate
Figure 4 - Average
Figure 5 - Full
Figure 6 - Large
Figure 7 – Very large

In this work, and in all our phrenological language, we use these terms in a specific sense. The Sign + (plus or more) placed before or after a figure, shows that it is LARGER than it is marked, yet not so large as to require the next larger figure.  The sign – (minus or less) that it is not quite so much as is marked.  This (curve over) mark over a figure signifies that it should be cultivated and increased in activity and size.  This (curve under) mark under a figure signifies that it is too large and active, and should be decreased and rendered less influential.

1. VERY SMALL is used when an organ is so small that its function is seldom felt or exercised in the character; and though existent and active with the rest, it seldom influences them as a motive power, or moved in any important action.  It requires great motive to excite it efficiently, and long education and discipline to make it serviceable.

2. SMALL denote a feeble yet general activity, too small to hold any command, and yet capable of good service, when directed and sustained by the other organs.  It sometimes moves the rest to its assistance.

3. MODERATE.  This term implies a tone of function easily excited to effort, ad seldom backward in duty.  Still it is not capable of command; is only awakened by motives from abroad to venture and undertake operations on its own account.  It is moderate in all things; if anything falls short of, rather than oversteps, its designs.

4. AVERAGE is used to denote par.  It indicates an active, but not an energetic organ; one that has a fair influence in the mental council, but it will never be a predominating power unless cultivated.

5. FULL expresses an energetic organ; one that has influence, but not authority; one which can urge, persuade, but not command, the will or understanding.  Et several full organs in one region of the brain wold, by concert and combination, control the character to a great degree.  The more organs in each head we mark full, the more symmetrical that head is made; the more harmonious their functions; and consequently the more uniform will be the character of the individual.  Full is the size from which all functions should be studied; it expresses neither deficiency nor redundance, but plain, useful, elementary, and harmonious activity.

6. LARGE proclaims a powerful function, one which is capable of distinguished and self-directing conduct.  Several organs large, with a proper temperament, make talent, or ability to urge the whole mind up to great effort on specific subjects.  Large organs generally act in combination to make character.

7. VERY LARGE.  This term is placed equidistant from average with very small, and is directly opposite to it in influence, while both are unnatural, and cannot be safely trusted in the character.  It expresses a function which is liable to control and govern, especially the smaller faculties, constituting and giving tone and direction to the character and talents; easily excited, powerful in action, and quite liable to abuse or disease.