In the late 19th and early 20th century there was a widely held opinion, that the last image that somebody had viewed before they died was held in the retina and that in murder cases,the victim would retain the image of their attacker.

Optography was used as evidence, or in attempts to trace assailants in a few notable cases. It is believed that the process was used on Mary Jane Kelly, in an attempt to capture Jack the Ripper. In 1924 optography was submitted as evidence in the case of  Fritz Angerstein, who had been charged with killing 8 members of his family and household staff. Optograms were taken from two of his victims including the gardener who was killed with an axe. Professor Doehne of the University of Cologne obtained photographic evidence of Angerstein and the axe used in the crime, which were used to convict the murderer.

Wilhelm Kühne in 1878 managed to extract the image bellow from the retina of a rabbit, that was facing a window when it died.

Dead Men’s Eyes: A History of Optography

In 1975 Evangelos Alexandridis replicated Kühne’s findings, retrieving images from the retinas of rabbits.original (1)
Writing Tasks
In the future we have worked out a way of developing images on the retina. Free write.(15-20 minutes).

Write a poem about images on the eye.(15-20 minutes).

Happy writing!


3 thoughts on “Day 363 – Optography- The Last Image Captured Prompt

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