I designed the T-shirt after loads of people kept emailing me
asking/demanding/pleading for more designs which had black backgrounds. The
image was produced with Paint Shop Pro 5 using the ITC Garamond and Gill Sans MT
Truetype fonts and a bit of time and effort.
Whenever possible the T-shirts upon which the image is laser printed is usually
a Screen Stars (Fruit of the Loom) or Jerzee 363 type. Fairly heavy cotton, it
shouldn't need ironing if you dry it by hanging it over something.
The history of the guillotine started long before the French Revolution, but
when and where exactly, nobody knows. Guillotine like machines seems to have
functioned in Germany, Great Britain and Italy before 1360, but there is no
1/4/1367 The first evidence of the existence of a guillotine like machine
used at the execution of Murcod Ballagh near to Merton in Ireland.
The Halifax Gibbet, a pre guillotine was used in Halifax, England, at
executions on market-days. May have functioned as early as 1280. The last
execution with the Halifax gibbet took place in 1648.
The Maiden was constructed and used in Scotland. It was based on the Halifax
Gibbet. The Maiden was made of oak and consists of a sole beam 5 feet in
length into which were fixed two upright posts 10 feet in height, 4 inches
broad and 12 inches apart from each other, and 3 1/2 inches in thickness, with
bevelled corners. These posts were kept steady by a branch at each side which
sprang from the end of the sole and is fastened to the uprights 4 feet from
the bottom. The tops of the posts were fixed into a cross rail 2 feet in
length. The block was a transverse bar 3 1/4 feet from the bottom, 8 inches in
breadth and 4 1/2 inches in thickness, and a hollow on the upper edge of this
bar was filled with lead. The axe consisted of a plate of iron faced with
steel; it measured 13 inches in length and 10 1/2 inches in breadth.
On the upper edge of the plate was fixed a mass of lead 75 pounds in weight.
This blade worked in grooves cut into the inner edges of the uprights, which
were lined with copper.
10/10/1789 On the second day of the Assembly debate about the Penal Code, Dr
Guillotin submitted a proposition in six articles which included a
recommendation that death, without the accompaniment of torture and by means of
decapitation, should become the sole and standard form of capital punishment in
1/12/1789 Dr Guillotin present his six articles for the second time.
1.Offences of the same kind will be punished by the same kind of penalty.
2.In all cases where the law imposes the death penalty on an accused person,
the punishment shall be the same, whatever the nature of the offence of which
he is guilty; the criminal shall be decapitated; this will be done solely by
means of a simple mechanism.
3.In view of the personal character of crime, no punishment of a guilty person
shall involve and discredit to his family. The honour of those belonging to him
shall be in no way soiled, and they shall continue to be no less admissible to
any kind of profession, employment and public function.
4.No one shall reproach a citizen with any punishment imposed on one of his
relatives. Whosoever ventures to do so shall be publicly reprimanded by the
judge. The sentence imposed on him shall be written up on the offender's door.
Moreover, it shall be written up on the pillory and remain there for a period
of three months.
5.Confiscation of the condemned person's property shall in no case be imposed.
6.The corpse of an executed man shall be handed over to his family on their
request. In every case, he shall be allowed normal burial and no reference
shall be made on the register to the nature of his death.
3/6/1791 The Assembly approved a text providing that "Every person condemned to
the death penalty shall have his head severed".
10/4/1792 Roederer (Procureur général syndic) and Tobias Schmidt
(a german harpsichord maker) reached a happy accord: 960 francs was to cover
the cost of manufacturing the machine, the sum moreover providing for a leather
bag in which to dispose of the severed head.
11/4/1792 It was on this Friday afternoon, the first real guillotine was set
up, in the Cour du Commerce, rue Saint-André-des-Arts. It was tried out
on sheep and calves. The blade was not the oblique one yet. It may have been
curved like that of an axe, or even straight. Tobias Schmidt the maker of this
prototype, had his workshop there, just opposite the printing office in number
8, where Marat had Ami du Peuple printed.
15/4/1792 The first test on human corpses at a combined hospital, prison and
old peoples home, at Bicêtre. 3 cadavers were beheaded successfully.
19/4/1792 Guidon went out to Bicêtre to fix a new conceived blade in
21/4/1792 The improved machine was again tried out af Bicêtre. Three
corpses had been carefully selected from the military hospital in order to
obtain, if possible, really well-built men who had died in an accident or of
some short of illness which had not caused them to grow thin.
25/4/1792 Nicolas-Jacques Pelletier was executed on the place Grève.
Sanson operated the machine in dead earnest for the first time.
5/6/1792 The architect Giraud submitted a rapport requested by Roederer. The
rapport said: "Although well conceived in itself, has not been perfected to the
fullest possible extent. The grooves, the tongues and the gudgeons are in wood;
the first should be made in brass, the others of iron; the hooks to which are
attached the cords holding up the mouton are only fixed with round-headed
nails; they should be fixed with strong nuts and bolts.
21/8/1792 The guillotine was installed at the place du Carroussel, where it
stayed until May 7th 1793 with interruptions, such as the execution of the king.
23/09/1792 French Revolution Calendar is declared as official calendar of
France Dates in parenthesis are dates in this particular calendar
21/1/1793 (1 Pluviose Y.0) Louis Capet (Louis XVI, king of France) was executed
at the place de la Liberté (now place de la Concorde)
9/6/1794 (20 Prairial Y.2) The Guillotine is installed on the place de la
Bastille, but only for a very short time. On June 11th. it was moved to the
barrière du Trône (now place de la Nation).
1/1/1806 The French Revolution Calendar is banned
Nicolas Roch, grandson of Antoine, replaced François Desmorets as executioner
Louis Deibler succeeded Clément Sanson, who was dismissed. He was the first man
to graduate from assistant executioner to executioner for all France.
Nicolas Roch was promoted to executioner at Amiens In succession of Henri
4/4/1854 M. Joseph Tussaud returned to London with a guillotine he had bought
from Clément Sanson. The guillotine was to become a part of Tussauds Waxworks.
Leon Berger, an assistant executioner and carpenter, improved and developed a
new guillotine between 1870 - 1872. Among the improvements were the spring
system, which should stop the mouton at the bottom of the groves, and the
lock/blocking device at the lunette. The new release mechanism for the blade,
was also developed by Berger. All guillotines built after 1870 are made
according to Berger's construction.
Nicolas Roch was now occupying the post of executioner at Paris itself, his
five assistants included MM. Berger, Ganier and Desfourneaux.
Roch installed a wooden shield at the summit of the machine, which would mask
the knife from the sight of the approaching victim. A novelty suppressed by
M. Deibler, when he replaced Roch.
Louis Deibler succeeded Nicolas Roch.
Anatole Deibler succeeded his father Louis Deibler.
June 28th Languille was executed at 5.30 a.m. Dr Beaurieux made an experiment
with the severed head. Read his report.
May 7th: Prisoner André Baillard received clemency just as the assistants of
Anatole Deibler had strapped him to the bascule at the Santé prison.
In February Anatole Deibler collapsed with a fatal heart attack in the métro
station while setting off to execute Pilorges in the provinces.
The last public execution in France. On June 17th Weidmann was guillotined
outside the prison of Versailles.
24/6/1939 According to a new law executions are no longer public, but has to
take place (in Paris) in the yard of the Santé prison.
André Obrecht was chosen from more than four hundred applicants when the post
as Bourreau fell vacant.
The last official use of the guillotine in France. On the 10th of September
Hamida Djandoubi was executed.
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