"Description of the Brain of Mr. Charles Babbage, F.R.S." In Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B., Volume 200 (1909). pp. 117-31, plates 9-13.
Horsley, Victor.

Perforated stamp of Bryn Mawr College Library on title, Bryn Mawr bookplate with "release" stamp on front pastedown. The entire volume, octavo. Full library buckram, gilt spine. (Item ID: 14781)

$500.00

The brain of Charles Babbage was preserved in alcohol for thirty years and placed in the care of the Unterian Trustees. This paper reports an examination of the preserved brain, called at the request of the Unterian Trustees. Following a brief review of Babbage's life and accomplishments, the paper goes through an in-depth anatomical analysis of various parts of the brain, accompanied by eight photographs of the right and left hemispheres, and concludes: "The brain of Mr. Babbage is worthy of record as presenting evidence on: (1) the neurological value of symmetry as a feature of cerebral growth in an individual of high intellectual ability; (2) the relative development of the areas of representation of locutory and graphic functions in contrast to sensorial representation" (p. 130). Sir Victor Horsley (1857-1916) was one of the pioneers of brain surgery. He is known for his work in three areas: 1. the action of the thyroid gland and its relation to growth disorders; 2. the protective treatment against rabies; and 3. the localization of function in the brain, though his best-known book is probably Alcohol and the Human Body (1907), written with Dr. Mary Sturge. Some of his work concerning the localization of cerebral function was done with Charles Edward Beevor (1854-1907), whose paper, "On the Distribution of the Different Arteries supplying the Human Brain," also occurs in this volume of the Philosophical Transactions, together with superb color plates. (See D.S.B., Volume VI, pp. 518-519; D.N.B. 1912-21 supplement, pp. 270-1).

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