Rare 1930s Physogs Photo-fit Game

Rare 1930s Physogs Photo-fit Game

Code: CE721


H: 3cm (1.2")D: 26.5cm (10.4")L: 42cm (16.5")


A very interesting and rare game called 'Physogs', made in England by Waddy Production in the late 1930s. This is a photo-fit game where photographs of parts of the face are used to make up faces in order to fit in with a given personality type. The game is complete and in good condition, and is still in its original box. It consists of 4 monotone 'face cards' with 13 mouths, noses and eyes that are fitted in to create 'photo-fit' faces that match character types listed on 13 cards. I am also including a copy of an associated book mentioned below. The game and book are in very good, complete condition with minor wear commensurate with age.

The game was devised by British entrepreneur Jacques Penry (real name William Ryan). Penry had no scientific or technical training and subscribed to the now outmoded 'science' of physiognomy or facial topography, where it was believed there was a link between someone's facial features and their character. In 1938 Penry published a book on the subject called 'Character from the Face' which included lots of monotone photos of different facial features and tips on how to use these to analyse a person's character. The 'Physogs' game was developed by Penry around the same time as this book was published.

Interestingly, Penry is credited with being instrumental in devising the 'Photo-FIT' system used by police forces around the world. In the late 1960s, he worked with the Home Office and games producers John Waddington to develop his ideas for use by the police in identifying criminals. This led to the introduction by the Home Office of the 'Photo-FIT' system which was adopted by the British Police in 1970, allowing them to produce more accurate 'wanted' posters of criminals. The system was used by police around the world for many years, and eventually led to the development of E-fits.

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