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Edouard Mallet's early and almost forgotten study of the average height of Genevan conscripts in 1835


Staub, Kaspar; Rühli, Frank J; Bogin, Barry; Woitek, Ulrich; Pfister, Christian (2011). Edouard Mallet's early and almost forgotten study of the average height of Genevan conscripts in 1835. Economics & Human Biology, 9(4):438-442.

Abstract

In 1835, Edouard Mallet published a notable but today nearly forgotten study of the average height of Genevan conscripts. His individual data included 3 029 conscripts born between 1805 and 1814, examined and measured between 1826 and 1835. Mallet’s work was only the third auxological study to be based on a large sample of individual conscript data, the other two being those of Louis-René Villermé and Adolphe Quetelet, but as far as we know Mallet's was the first to note the law of normal distribution. Like Villermé
and Quetelet, Mallet explained urban/rural and international differences in average height strictly in terms of environmental and economic determinants. In the recent past, references to Mallet’s work have been rare,
and limited to citations of his computed averages. We postulate that Mallet and his study deserve greater
consideration for their contribution to the field of anthropometric history than they have yet received.

Abstract

In 1835, Edouard Mallet published a notable but today nearly forgotten study of the average height of Genevan conscripts. His individual data included 3 029 conscripts born between 1805 and 1814, examined and measured between 1826 and 1835. Mallet’s work was only the third auxological study to be based on a large sample of individual conscript data, the other two being those of Louis-René Villermé and Adolphe Quetelet, but as far as we know Mallet's was the first to note the law of normal distribution. Like Villermé
and Quetelet, Mallet explained urban/rural and international differences in average height strictly in terms of environmental and economic determinants. In the recent past, references to Mallet’s work have been rare,
and limited to citations of his computed averages. We postulate that Mallet and his study deserve greater
consideration for their contribution to the field of anthropometric history than they have yet received.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
330 Economics
Language:English
Date:March 2011
Deposited On:30 May 2011 10:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:55
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1570-677X
Additional Information:Published by Elsevier
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2011.03.001

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