They REALLY used this shit?

What do I know?

Thumbscrew to make FLAT THUMBS?

The thumbscrew is a torture instrument which was first used in early modernEurope. It is a simple vice, sometimes with protruding studs on the interior surfaces. The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the nails and savagely stimulate the exquisitely sensitive flesh of the nail beds. While the most common design operated upon a single thumb or big toe, cleverly designed variants of the device could accommodate, for example, both big toes, all five fingers of one hand, or all ten toes.Obviously based upon the thumbscrew, albeit heavier and stronger, the foot-crushing boot enjoyed extreme popularity in the torture chambers of medieval and Enlightenment France and was imitated and improved upon across Europe