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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Closing out the series with an example of perhaps the best known of the mid-20th Century 
exercises in comparative anatomy, the Fort Sheridan U.S. Army inductee photos.  I have more 
of these than I'll ever have time to post, but let me know if you want to see more.

 

11 comments:

  1. I wonder what the deal was that they photographed the inductees naked. What was done with these photos anyway?

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    1. I think the general idea put forward was to survey body types. At the time there were medical theories on "ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs" or something like that. My own wicked mind suspects that somebody just wanted to collect a lot of pictures of naked men for enjoyment.

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    2. You might be on to something there.

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  2. As far as I remember from an article in a reputable publication, the name of which I forget, I understood these images to have been taken for a programme rolled out in the American military and Ivy League universities to attempt to establish if there were a link between IQ and intellectual, military and sporting capacities and physical characteristics. It was quack medicine in the days before Watson and Crick discovered the DNA helix which enabled the mapping of the human genome. (By the way, Watson dreamt of the DNA helix following an acid trip - LSD was still legal in Britain in 1953.) I was fascinated when I first saw these images on the net because I attended the sports clinic when I was a runner and filmed running naked (jockstrap only) on a tread in front of a squared background like the one in this series, in order for my musculature and skeletal proportions to be measured for performance.

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    1. Thanks for adding some depth and personal notes to the discussion.

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  3. These are fascinating, wouldn't mind seeing more of them at all.

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  4. When you say you have more of these, do you mean you have vintage prints that you have to scan? I find these fascinating. Recently I purchased a few vintage prints on Ebay. If you want some high res scans I could send them to you.

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    1. I long ago reached the point where I stopped collecting actual prints, so I almost always mean that I have digital images. I'd be pleased to see any scans you might want to share, though. Hit me up via the contact form, and I'll send you the direct email.

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