Soon after the acceptance of Dr. Guillotin's proposal, the French government got to work on creating the machine. A man named Tobias Schmidt was hired to build it and got paid 960 francs for doing so. Schmidt is the true inventor of the guillotine. After many trials on sheep and human corpses, the guillotine was put into use, with the first official beheading occurring on April 25, 1792. After some minor adjustments in it's build, the use of the guillotine became commonplace and had many victims, including it's most famous ones, French King Louis XVI and his wife Queen Marie Antoinette in 1793.
The guillotine remained mostly the same in structure until around 1870-72, when a man named Leon Berger made some changes that included such improvements as a better release mechanism, and a spring to stop the blade at the bottom. This was the last change made to the machine, and after this, all others were built according to Berger's specifications.
The last public execution in France occurred in 1937, when public executions were banned. After this ban, the law stated that all future executions had to take place in Paris in the yard of the Santé Prison. Executions continued here until the last official use of the guillotine occurred on the 10th of September 1977 when Hamida Djandoubi was executed.
Although the guillotine is the only...