Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/63

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55
MEASUREMENTS OF MEN.

knowledge of the life-history of individuals, but for the most part toward other theoretical investigations. In some cases elaborate instruments and methods of observation have been devised by which certain faculties have been tested with extreme minuteness; in other cases no well-contrived and approved system of examination exists. If everything should be stated by which anthropometry might profit, the effect would be not unlike the map of some partially-settled country, drawn on a scale so large as to show the cadastral survey of its principal town-lands. A fraction of the whole would thus be minutely engraved, the wide adjacent regions would be represented by a few lines of route, and the remainder would consist of blanks. In order to convey in the best way an idea of what is known about such a country as this, the general map of it should be on a small scale, and then uniformity of treatment becomes possible. Acting on this principle, I shall avoid entering into details on those subjects where there exists very much to speak of, and shall nowhere go further than is sufficient to express the simpler requirements of anthropometry.

Let us, then, consider how we should set to work to define and describe the various bodily faculties of a person whom we had ample means of observing, say one of our own children. Some of the observations could hardly be made except at a properly equipped anthropometric laboratory; others, as it will be seen, could at present be carried on best in the playground. I shall not care to distinguish these in the description; they will be obvious enough when they occur. The tests would define the capacities of the person at the moment when he was observed. They are expected to be renewed at intervals, so as to serve as records of successive periods in his life-history.

Photography was the subject of my last memoir. I showed that the features should be taken in full face and in exact profile, and on not too small a scale—that of about one seventh of the natural size being, perhaps, the most convenient. I also spoke of other photographs in less formal attitudes, to show the whole figure and gesture. In some of these the limbs might be more or less bared to exhibit the muscular development.

I need not dwell upon the usual anthropometric measurements. They should of course be made, and probably no better rules can be followed in making them than those of the present Anthropometric Committee of the British Association. These measurements refer to height, to weight, to chest-girth (but only if taken by skilled observers on a uniform plan), to capacity of lungs (also under those conditions), and to color of hair and eyes. Other data are asked for in the instructions issued by the committee which would also require to be recorded, and which may as well be mentioned now—such as birthplace and residence, whether in town or country, both of the person and of his parents; also their race, whether English, Scotch, or Irish, etc.