Who invented the Guillotine?

The guillotine is a well known device that was used in France, mainly during the French Revolution.

The guillotine was used for carrying out executions by decapitation, and is still widely considered as a symbol of terror. The device consisted of a tall, wooden upright frame from which an angled blade was suspended. The blade was raised with rope and then the victim’s head was pushed under the blade with their neck in the direct path of the blade. The rope was then released dropping the blade and ultimately separating the head from the body. The head was often caught in a basket the was on the other side of the device.

The Design of the Guillotine

The design was influenced by the Halifax Gibbet and the Scottish Maiden. The Halifax Gibbet was a decapitating machine used in Halifax, England, and the Scottish Maiden was a similar device used in Scotland. Unlike the guillotine both the Gibbet and the Maiden devices used a crescent shaped blade that crushed the neck and used blunt force to take of the head.

Why was the guillotine invented and who invented it?

The guillotine was developed when Louis XVI banned the use of the breaking wheel due to what he thought was a animalistic way of putting someone to death. The National Assembly was tasked with researching a method of execution of all condemned people regardless of their class. The idea was that the method should only serve to end one’s life and not inflict pain during the process. A German engineer named Tobias Schmidt was hired by the Strasburg criminal court to construct a prototype of the guillotine that had a blade that was set at a 45 degree angle that would help in its quick slicing.

When Was the Guillotine Used?

A major cause of the French Revolution was the large population in France that brought about epidemic disease and massive food shortages. The eighteenth century also brought a huge growth in capitalism and it seeped into the everyday lives of the French people. All of these frustrations eventually led to the start of the French Revolution and when the guillotine really started being used on a mass level for executions. Who was the first person put to death by the guillotine? The first official victim of the guillotine was a man names Nicolas-Jacques Pelletier and his execution took place on April 25, 1792. It is estimated that during the time referred to as the Reign of Terror that somewhere between sixteen thousand and forty thousand people were executed by way of the guillotine.

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