346 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
lectual capacity, and mental character, and will substitute concise and exact numerical values for verbose and disputable estimates'. Its methods necessarily differ for different faculties; some measurements are made by the foot-rule, others by scales, others by the watch ; health is measured by the frequency and character of illness ; the remainder by performances in the school or on the playground. Anthropometry furnishes the readiest method of ascertaining whether a boy is developing normally or otherwise, and how far the average conditions of pupils at one institution differ from those at others. Though partially practised at every schoolfor example in all examinations-its powers are far from being generally understood, and its range is much too restricted. But as an interest in anthropometry has arisen and progressed during recent years, it is to be expected that the good sense of school authorities, assisted by the expert knowledge of medical men, anthropologists, and statisticians, will gradually intro
duce improvements in its methods and enlargement of its scope."
This passage is noteworthy as it indicates how fully Galton had come to realise that the complete anthropometric laboratory must take measurements not only of statical physique and psychical characters, but also of the dynamic workings of the body, and generally of its physiological and medical fitness. What a stage onwards from that thin end of the wed e which suggested a measurement of stature, and obtained some half-dozen statical characters ! But when we have got all this information, what is its value? Galton was not bent on describing what the school anthropometric laboratory should do for the boy, but what itshould do for the man into which he developed. He regretted the deplorable and widespread lack of knowledge of the true value of anthropometric forecasts. Who can answer the questions
"How far does success or failure in youth foretell success or failure in later years? What is the prophetic value of anthropometry at school in respect to health, strength and energy in after-life? "
Indeed these matters are only yet on their trial: Will the data collected in a fully equipped anthropometric laboratory recording the physical, mental, medical or other characters be able to make a forecast of the best career for a young man, or the probable success or failure in after life of its examinees? It will take twenty to thirty years to correlate well-selected measurements with experience in after careers. Galton realised this and wished to prepare the way for obtaining a life-history of the boys who had been measured in the school anthropometric laboratories.
"The first conclusion to be emphasised is that no programme for anthropometry in any school can be considered complete unless it provides for the collection of data during the afterlives of their pupils."
Every fourth year, Galton suggests, the "old boy" should receive a schedule and return it with an account of his doings in life, his health, vigour, his profession and achievements, his marriage and children. These four-yearly reports would be combined in one dossier with his school anthropometric measurements record. The schedule of these records would leave a space for one sheet of family history to be obtained from the boy's parents when he was about to leave school, which he himself would verify later, and there would be space for a few photographs.
Such was Galton's scheme in brief abstract. It will be seen to approach closely the eugenic record proposed many years previously, but now asso
' It would be difficult to excel this passage as a description of anthropometry.