Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/257

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243
BRAIN WEIGHTS AND INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY.
BRAIN WEIGHTS AND INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY.
By JOSEPH SIMMS, M. D.

HAVING been for thirty years a lecturer 011 man and his character as evinced by his form, features, head, and gestures, and having made observations on the subject in all parts of North America, in continental Europe and Great Britain, and parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia, I should not be deemed presumptuous when I present a few facts regarding the relations of mind and the size and forms of heads and weights of brains. It has been observed by many persons versed in the branches relating to the subject that men with the largest brains are not those of most talent, power, or intellect; but many such have been only ordinary or inferior men, or even idiots; while some men of most powerful and comprehensive minds have had unusually small brains. Esquirol's assertion that no size or form of head or brain is incident to idiocy or to superior talent is borne out by my observations.

After long and careful research in the great libraries and museums of the world, I have collected a table of brain weights of eminent men, along with which are entered, in my original document, the occupation of the subject, age at the time of determination, and the source whence the item is derived. These can not be given within the limits of this article, and only the briefest and most generalized summary of the main features can be indicated. The largest weight of brain in the whole list is that of the Russian novelist Turgenieff, whose brain weighed, at the time of his death, at sixty-five years of age, 71 ounces.[1] It is a considerable step from him to the next in order, the English mechanician and author, Knight, whose brain weight at the age of fifty-eight was 64 ounces. Then follow the Scottish physician Abercrombie, 63 ounces; General B. F. Butler, 62 ounces; and the Scottish general Abercromby, 62 ounces. Another group of nine, including weights from 58.6 ounces to 54 ounces, includes Jeffrey, Scottish judge and author, Thackeray, Cuvier, George Combe, United States Senator Atherton, Spurzheim, and the Scottish physician Simpson. The next group, 53.6 to 50, is larger, including twenty-one names, among which are Daniel Webster, Agassiz, Napoleon I, the Scottish divine Chalmers, the mathematicians De Morgan and Gauss, the anthropologist Broca, and the generals Skoboleff and Lamarque. The last group, 49.9 to 40 ounces, contains twenty-five names, including those of the philosopher Huber, Grote, Babbage, the anthropologist Bertillon,

  1. Medical Times and Gazette, London, England, November 17, 1883.