In 1839, Samuel George Morton published a richly-illustrated book called Crania Americana. It influenced everyone from Darwin to the Abolitionists. And it was about how the skulls of different races made some superior and some inferior. This short film details its sordid and bizarre history.

From Cambridge University, which created this video:

Crania Americana, published in Philadelphia in 1839 by Samuel George Morton, is being studied by Cambridge University PhD student James Poskett at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.

His research has uncovered, for the first time, just how influential this book was in scientific circles that included the likes of Charles Darwin and James Cowles Prichard.

Learn more about Poskett's research on his website.