Freeman Transorbital Leucotome

Description (Brief)
Doctors used these instruments to perform the lobotomy procedure on patients diagnosed with particular psychiatric conditions. The procedure was introduced in 1935 and popularized in the United States by Walter J. Freeman in the 1940s. The doctor inserted the instrument into the frontal lobe of the brain to destroy its connection with other regions.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Leucotome, transorbital
leucotome, transorbital
date made
ca 1950
date(s) of previous ownership
Physical Description
steel, stainless (instruments material)
leatherette (case material)
black (case color)
part: case (closed): 8 1/4 in x 3 3/4 in x 3/4 in; 20.955 cm x 9.525 cm x 1.905 cm
overall, case, closed: 3/4 in x 8 1/4 in x 3 3/4 in; 1.905 cm x 20.955 cm x 9.525 cm
part: case (open): 13 7/16 in x 10 in x 1/4 in; 34.13125 cm x 25.4 cm x .635 cm
part: instruments (each): 7 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/4 in; 19.685 cm x 3.81 cm x .635 cm
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Henry A. Ator

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