Monday, April 13, 2009

The Eye of an Ox

West Australian Times
12 November 1863, p. 3

Our Back Parlour

[...] An English photographer lately took a photograph of the eye of an ox a few hours after death; and on examining the impression through the microscope distinctly perceived depicted on the retina the exact delineation of the stones with which the slaughter-house was paved, being the last object which affected the vision of the animal on bending down its head to receive the fatal blow. The consequence deduced from this somewhat apocryphal story is, that if the eyes of a murdered man be photographed a few hours after death the likeness of the murderer will be found on his retina, that being the last object he can have seen during the death struggle. [...]

[See also Veronique Campion-Vincent, "The Tell-Tale Eye". Folklore (1999)110: 13-24.]