Article ID: CBB001553619

Anthropometric Portraiture and Victorian Anthropology: Situating Francis Galton's Photographic Work in the Late 1870s (2015)


This paper examines the complex observational techniques of British anthropologists during the nineteenth century. In particular, using Galton's initial work with anthropometric and composite photography in the late 1870s as a case study, it argues that nineteenth-century anthropological armchair studies were extremely sophisticated and that researchers were highly attuned to the problems associated with their methodologies. These nineteenth-century practitioners were not simply anthologising the materials of others; rather they were developing specialised methods for producing their own evidence and drawing conclusions. Moreover, Galton's use of photographic processes is instructive because it highlights one of the ways in which researchers interested in human diversity attempted to add further scientific credibility to their arguments by utilising the most cutting-edge technologies available during the period.

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Authors & Contributors
Waller, John C.
Winston, Andrew S.
Ellenbogen, Josh
Smith, Elise Juzda
Blanckaert, C.
Weizmann, Fredric
British Journal for the History of Science
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of the History of Biology
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Social History of Medicine
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
American Psychological Association
Oxford University Press
Trafford Publishing
Pennsylvania State University Press
University of Delaware
University of Chicago
Science and race
Galton, Francis
Bateson, William
Bertillon, Alphonse
Marey, Etienne Jules
Mill, John Stuart
Darwin, Charles Robert
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
18th century
Great Britain
United States
South Africa
Royal Society of London

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