"He mounts the scaffold, the executioner fastens him to the plank; it tips up; the guillotine blade falls"

   Later versions of the French guillotine, designed to cope more efficiently with the enormous workload during the Reign of Terror, included a bascule ('see-saw'); a board to which the standing victim was securely fastened before being tipped horizontal and slid into position.

Scale replica of a guillotine, featuring the 'bascule'
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumScale replica of a guillotine, featuring the 'bascule' - Credit: Kauko