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The guillotine’s invention was suggested by Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who ironically was opposed to the death penalty, and proposed the idea to replace the axe as a quick and relatively painless death. The resulting invention created by Tobias Schmidt, and King Louis XVI’s physician, Antoine Louis, would be called ‘the guillotine’. During the ‘Reign of Terror’. (1793–1794), the guillotine would be used at least 16,594 times upon political opponents both real and imagined, including the most high profile victims, former King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. A popular form of entertainment, the executions drew great crowds of spectators, with the names of those due to be executed that day available to buy from vendors.

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