Reel splitter GIF. These are used for recycling.
Last edited by Jon; Sep 8, 2020 at 11:40 AM.
Christophe Mineau (Aug 4, 2017)
Like the device above, the guillotine often failed to deliver its punishment in a single blow, most famously when it needed multiple drops to execute King Louis XVI.
Interestingly, Louis XVI had popularized the guillotine as a more humane improvement on the previous standard, the torturous breaking wheel. People would be secured to a large wagon wheel, their bones would be smashed, and they would then be left to die in agony over days. If the condemned justified a merciful execution, the executioner would deliver a more fatal "blow of mercy", which has entered into popular culture as the term coup de grāce.
While the guillotine is now considered barbaric, the drastically worse breaking wheel makes a subtle appearance in various modern coats of arms and organizational symbols, all over the world.
Coat of arms of St. Catherine's College, of the University of Oxford:
Coat of arms of Goa, India (until 1961):
The symbol of the breaking wheel is often mistaken for a simple "wagon wheel". Such confusion is avoided in the coat of arms of the town of Molsheim, France:
Trojan Horse (Aug 3, 2017)
Last edited by Trojan Horse; Aug 3, 2017 at 11:41 PM.
He he, I like your remark Marv, and do you think he also intended to stop in the middle ?
Maybe yes... Robespierre was definitively mad...
Thanks Jon for the article. However the breaking wheel was not for ordinary people, I think the "supplice de la roue" (can you translate) was reserved (thought not only) to people who attempted to the king or his family's life ,what was called the "crime de regicide". You can read in particular what happened to Robert Francois Damiens, who tried to murder King Louis XV
By the way, Im currently in vacation far away from the shop, and took the oportunity to visit the Guedelon Castle,you know this middle age castle that crazy people (not so crazy...) have been building ftom scratch for 20 years. When I will return, I will show you some photos of the progress, and a couple of interresting tools I could see in Burgundy
I had never read that they botched the decapitation of Louis XVI. After the invention of the lune, it seemed almost impossible for the victim to withdraw his head enough that the blade to hit the skull and not the neck.
England has its own botch jobs. While Henry VIII had an expert French swordsman imported to shorten Anne Boleyn's stature his daughter didn't get an expert axe man to do Mary, Queen of Scots and several strokes were required to achieve the desired disconnection.
Still, the guillotine remains the quickest and surest, if not the most decorous, method of execution. Gravity has never been known to fail and, if the slides are properly lubricated and the victim immobilized, it works much more faithfully than hanging, electrocution, gas, or even the lethal injection.
Last edited by mklotz; Aug 4, 2017 at 04:02 PM.
Yes, this is well known that the good King Louis XVI (a crafstman) required several attempts, but I dont have the technical details, maybe simply the blade became dull after so many uses...
The botched executions sites confirm the fact that hanging, firing squads and electrocution can go wrong in an astounding number of ways. This bolsters my conviction that a properly designed, well-maintained guillotine has far fewer things to go wrong and remains the best way to get the job done quickly and reliably. Not to mention that, if the threat of capital punishment is meant to deter criminals, the gut-wrenching fear created by the machine can only enhance the threat.
Perhaps a morbid forum topic but remember...the guillotines of the Revolution were French homemade tools.
I repaired one of these in April 2017. Their design uses motor driven ACME lead screws to drive the knife, needing no shear edge. The blade travels parallel to the bed, perpendicular to the twin drive screws. The synchronization is maintained by heavy roller chain, and backlash adjusters on the screws. The cut proceeds exactly as depicted, the separated layers popping away from tension initiated by the blade compressing the roll, instead of restrained by a radius. Using company has their guillotine on a raised foundation so fall-out lands directly into wire recycling baskets to continue processing.
...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...
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