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Man catcher, Germany, 1601-1800

It is believed this hinged spike metal collar on a long wooden pole is a man catcher. It is one of the more unusual items in Henry Wellcome’s vast collection. Man catchers were used in Europe in the late 1700s during times of war. The terrifying collar pulled riders off horseback. In peacetime, it is thought the device may have caught and held escaped prisoners. Henry Wellcome was interested in all aspects of life, including crime and punishment, as well as medicine.

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Glossary: crime and punishment

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Glossary: man catcher

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