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Correlation and Application of Statistics to Problems of Heredity 137

irregularity in the mode of life that was greater two or three generations back than now. Further he found that the "prime" for weight was also earlier in age for the older generations, being hardly discoverable at all in those born in the first third of the nineteenth century or in the professional classes of the eighties. His three smoothed curves reproduced on p. 136, with the table of mean weights at each central age, indicate that noblemen of the generation which flourished about the beginning of last century attained their meridian and declined much earlier than those of the generation sixty years their juniors, or indeed than the mid-Victorian professional classes, where the culminating point was difficult to ascertain.

Galton's data were somewhat scanty as the following table will indicate, but his general conclusions appear to be justified


Actual Mean Weights in pounds at Various Ages.

 

Class

Years of Age

 

27

30

40

50

60

70

Born 1740-1769

166(13)

176 (18)

184(24)

181

(21)

181 (18)

180

(12)

Born 1770-1799

168 (24)

171 (23)

172 (24)

184

(26)

178 (26)

178

(15)

Born 1800-1829

165(35)

165(44)

171 (43)

175

(37)

181 (22)

188

(7)

Mid-Victorian

Professional Class

161

167

173

174

174

 

1

"There can be no doubt," he writes, "that the dissolute life led by the upper classes about the beginning of this century, which is so graphically described by Mr Trevelyan in his Life of Fox, has left its mark on their age-weight traces. It would be most interesting to collate these violent fluctuations with events in their medical histories; but, failing such information, we can only speculate on them, much as Elaine did on the dints in the shield of Launcelot, and on looking at some huge notch in the trace [for the individual], may hazard the guess, 'Ah, what a stroke of gout was there!"'


Although no great importance can be attached to Galton's results for this particular class of subject, yet the problems his paper suggests might be profitably studied on more ample material now extant. I am therefore glad to have brought to light once more this long forgotten paper.


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