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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 68

Anthropometrical Bureau

page 43

Anthropometrical Bureau.

Mr H. O. Forbes, Curator of the Canterbury Museum, was struck, as many others have been, with the effect of the salubrious climate of this colony and the less severe conditions of life here as compared with England, on the immigrants, animal, and vegetable world. Plant Life is pre-eminently more luxurious and more abundantly productive than at Home. It, therefore, occurred to him that the opportunity offered by the assembling of large numbers of New Zealand and Australian born members of both sexes should not be allowed to pass without an attempt to test by accurate methods the effect of the climate and new conditions of life on the human population transplanted into these colonies. One's general observation tends to the opinion that New Zealand born youth have on the average more bone and sinew—a general better physique—than those of the same age and standing at Home. It is noticeable also, that those of them who go to England to enter into mental conflict at our Universities and public schools, have not only held their own, but carried off a large share of the honours for which they have competed.

The Court set aside for this purpose has been fitted up, and will be administered under Mr. Forbes' direction. It is to be hoped, there-Fore, that those who visit the Exhibition, will not fail to pay a visit to the Laboratory, which is situated in the neighbourhood of the Educational Courts, in a central and prominent position. Those presenting themselves for measurement, and paying a fee of a few pence to cover the cost of the Court will be tested as to the colour of their eyes and hair; their height and weight; their eyesight will be examined to discover whether they are of normal, long or short-sight, Whether colour blind; the judgment will be appraised by their being required to estimate by eye, various lengths and weights. The open of arms, in relation to expanse of chest, and breathing capacity, page 44 will also be tested by various instruments, as well as the strength of the arms and quickness of blow. On entering the Laboratory, the visitor will be asked to fill up a card, on which information as to his age, birth-place, occupation, place of residence, and a few other data of a non-private kind, is required to give value to the personal observations made in the Laboratory. In addition to these observations Mr. Forbes hopes that he may be able, where parents with large families, or at least with several children, present themselves, to photograph each separately in order to obtain composite photograph of the girls and of the boys for comparison with the parental features and then a co-composite of the whole family for comparison with the photographs of the separate parents and of the parental composite Some results of very great interest are expected from these additional data, which were not attempted at the Health Exhibition in London Mr. Forbes hopes also that it may be possible for him to take photographs of a number of mature New Zealand and Australian born youth in order to obtain a composite—a type—of the Australasian colonist.

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