Six batsmen made ducks as visiting Lancashire bowled Essex out for 20 in a second division game at Chelmsford, their lowest score in a first-class fixture.
It was also the lowest score in county cricket since Essex skittled Surrey for 14 at the same ground in 1983.
Lancashire won the match by an innings and 105 runs as Essex compiled their worst total since being bowled out for 30 by visiting Yorkshire at Leyton in 1901.
Experienced seam bowler Glen Chapple took five wickets for nine runs while fellow opener Kyle Hogg chipped in with four for 11.
Northamptonshire made the lowest score in county cricket when they were bowled out by Gloucestershire for 12 in 1907.