Jeremy Bentham Auto-icon on display in Britain's University College London

Jeremy Bentham Auto-icon on display in Britain's University College London

Jeremy Bentham Feb 1748 – June 1832. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. When he was 21 he made a will leaving his body for dissection to friend/physician George Fordyce.  His skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called Auto-icon with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham's clothes. It was acquired by Univ College London in 1850. The real head was displayed in the case for many years but became the target of student pranks.

Jeremy Bentham Feb 1748 – June 1832. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism. When he was 21 he made a will leaving his body for dissection to friend/physician George Fordyce. His skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called Auto-icon with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham's clothes. It was acquired by Univ College London in 1850. The real head was displayed in the case for many years but became the target of student pranks.

Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) was an English author, jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer.  He was one of the first people to argue for the decriminalization of sodomy in England

Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) was an English author, jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was one of the first people to argue for the decriminalization of sodomy in England

jeremy bentham's auto-icon (unfortunately no longer displayed with real head), london

jeremy bentham's auto-icon (unfortunately no longer displayed with real head), london

The Strange Case of Jeremy Bentham:  At his request, he was taxidermied after his death. Supposedly, the process to preserve the head went terribly wrong and left his face showing lack of expression therefore, unattractive.  So, his head was replaced with the wax substitute and for a time was placed on the floor between his legs. It now sits in storage, safe and sound.    CRAZY CREEPY!

The Strange Case of Jeremy Bentham: At his request, he was taxidermied after his death. Supposedly, the process to preserve the head went terribly wrong and left his face showing lack of expression therefore, unattractive. So, his head was replaced with the wax substitute and for a time was placed on the floor between his legs. It now sits in storage, safe and sound. CRAZY CREEPY!

After his 1832 death, Jeremy Bentham’s corpse was preserved, as was his wish, at University College London. It’s a macabre excursion but you can see it at the university’s Gower Street space, seated in a glass-fronted cabinet. The body and clothing are the real deal; the head is a waxwork put in place after his real one was stolen by students.

After his 1832 death, Jeremy Bentham’s corpse was preserved, as was his wish, at University College London. It’s a macabre excursion but you can see it at the university’s Gower Street space, seated in a glass-fronted cabinet. The body and clothing are the real deal; the head is a waxwork put in place after his real one was stolen by students.

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