136 Life and Letters of Francis Galton Appendix to Chapter XIV*.
"The Weights of British Noblemen during the last Three Generations," Nature, January 17, 1884 (Vol. xxIx, pp. 266-268).
This rather amusing paper is not included in any list of Galton's memoirs known to me, nor were any offprints of it to be found in the Galtoniana. It seems to have been forgotten by Galton himself and would have certainly been overlooked by me had I not stumbled across it in reading Ronlanes' review of Galton's Record of Family Faculties and Life History Album in the same number of the Journal. Galton-whom the Goddess of Chance certainly favoured-became acquainted with the fact that an old established firm of wine and coffee merchants had been since about 1750 in the habit of weighing their customers, and that upwards of 20,000 persons, many of whom were famous in English history of the eighteenth century, had for their use or amusement sought the firm's huge
GALTON'S SMOOTHED CURVES FOR AGE-WEIGHT OF BR1TT$H NOBLEMEN IN THREE SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS.
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50 A¢e Fig. 14.
beam scales. Galton confined his attention almost entirely to noblemen as a well-rounded class, whose ages were easily ascertainable, and to their data in respect only of two characteristics, namely the degree of fluctuation in weight as exhibited by the age-weight curves of individual noblemen, and the difference in the average age-weight curves of noblemen born in the three periods 1740-1769, 1770-1799,1800-1829. He found that the average annual fluctuation in the earlier group was about 7 lbs. and that in the latest group it was only 5 lbs. He concluded that this pointed to an
* Some notice of the following paper should have appeared in Section H of Chapter xiii (Vol. II), but its existence was then unknown to me.