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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Historical Weaponry in St. Augustine

Tools of Torture

This week has been a trip back into the historically bizarre and unusual. On a whim, I decided to take a road trip to St. Augustine. It wasn't to see the archaeology in the city, like Castilllo De San Marco, which is strange for me. I wanted to experience the truly strange aspects of the oldest city in Florida.

So where did I find myself? Well, Ripley's Believe It or Not of course. I am doing a series of posts on some of the artifacts I'm explored this week in St. Augustine, and the weaponry at Ripley's was more than fascinating.

Chinese Fetters

During the 20th century, several European countries and Japan attempted to exploit China. Japan was notorious for imprisoning and torturing anyone that resisted. The wooden collar fetters, or restraints, were used by the Japanese to transport Chinese farmers to industrial centers.

Medieval Hand Crusher

This hand crusher was used during the Middle Ages to force a confession. The thumb and hand screws were tightened on the criminal until they confessed. Those who did not were crippled. They would have still succumb to a sentence of death for their crimes.

German Execution Axe

Prior to the invention of the guillotine in the 18th century, these long sturdy axes were used by executioners to provide a swift blow to the head. Unfortunately, using this method led to many misses by the executioners, resulting in the horror of needing multiple chops to finish the job.

Also check out Weird and Wonderful Objects From The First Ripleys in St. Augustine Florida at my new website, The TravelSphere.

All pictures taken by Author.


Relationships said...

St. Augustine is by far one of my favorite weekend get-aways. I have been to The Ripley's Believe It or Not several times and it is...I believe the original site. A definite tourist attraction as it does hold so much unusual historical Rembrandt's and stories.

I just love the cobblestone streets and all of the very eclectic aura that lingers there~

Sharkbytes said...

Lovely reminders of reasons to be fairly happy to be in the century we live in. Each age has its own horrors.

Richard Wing said...

Lauren, I really enjoy historical articles of the macabre. Great post and pics. Cool aricle.

Samantha said...

My husband loves to study the history of weapons. He's a karate instructor who enjoys learning the history of weapons and what they were originally designed for. He's enjoying reading your post!

Cruiselife & Co said...


I love everything about St. Augustine. No matter how many times I go back, I still find something new.


I agree. It's a bit scary actually.


Thanks Richard


I'm so glad you and your husband are enjoying the site. These weapons were a bit eye opening for me, especially the hand crusher from the Middle Ages.

Bo Jack Russo said...

Those are some gnarly torture setups, the hand crusher... wow. I heard about those axes before the guillotine on the History Channel and that it might take several blows to do the job, ouch!

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