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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (June 21, 1914)
THE SUNDAY OREGOXIA. POKTLAJfD, JUNE 21, 1914.
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HAT is the real American type
of man and of woman?
At last have we prospects of
a .solution of this ethnologic riddle
which has so long: vexed science and
Art has made various attempts at a
solution, but its ident.fications have
been indefinite. Science has added some
suggestions, but at best they have been
vague and speculative. '
America is called the melting: pot, the
crucible of the races, and we are termed
a mongrel people. Yet among: us exists
a white race that we may properly call
"thoroughbred American. 'V Individuals
o fthis race are now ihe objec of a
diligent search instituted by the United
States National Muesum.
Although not hitherto announced, this
important work was commenced two
years ago by Dr. Ales Hrdllcka, curator
in charge of the museum's laboratory of
physical anthropology. According to his
classification, any individual whose par
ents and grandparents have all been
American-born belong to t' 3 ethnic
group whose physical characteristics he
has, by accurate measurements and
tests, set about to determine.
Being eligible for this catalogue, the
Writer yesterday presented himself at
the laboratory and volunteered as a
subject for measurement and examina
tion. The process entailed no discom
fort or inconvenience whatsoever. On
the contrary, it proved most interest
ing, and as a generous return Dr.
l:dlicka consented to .be interviewed
briefly. upon this work and its related
A Fascinating Study
His specialty the revelation of our
selves to ourselves is certainly the -most
fascinating study that can enter
the ken of the savant. And his labora
tory is probably the most interesting
of the many scientific workshops main
tained by the Federal Government. It
is equipped with every standard instru
ment of precision needed for the meaa- '
urement of living man his head, his
body, his functions.
Although born in Bohemia, of which
fact he Is modestly proud. Dr. Hrdllcka
has been In the United States since his
childhood and has been engaged in state
or Federal Government service since his
majority. After receiving his collegiate
education in New York and his post
graduate training in Paris, he entered.
20 years ago, upon an extensive series
of anthropological studies, in the course
of which he has investigated the races
of man In Mongolia, Siberia, Egypt, Eu
rope, North, Central and South America.
For the last 11 years he has been in
charge of the National Museum's 'di
vision of physical anthropology.
The "Thoroughbred Anertcan.
"Of the many ethnic groups repre
sented In the population of this coun
try the least known to science is what
we might term the 'thoroughbred' white
American type," said Dr. Hrdllcka. "I
Include in this all who are lineal de
scendants of American stock for. at
least three generations. This old and
most important constituent of our pop
ulation has never been studied exclu
sively, although many haphazard and
sometimes foolish theories concerning
its physical status have been-advanced.
Speculations on such a subject, having
little foundation in well ascertained
facts, can mean but little and may
readily prove misleading. Thus, some
persons, here and abroad, believe that
this American stock is approaching the
Indian physically. A much more plaus
ible' and more widely shared opinion la
that Americans are developing not only
a new nationality, but a new uniform
strain or type of the white race. .
."To thfe investigator the nrnhlem hr.
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strong are tnese old Americans in num
bers? What are the physical and phy
siological changes, if any, that have
been wrought in them by the American
environment, by the more etrenuous thouirh the original data will nlwv h
mode of life experienced here and by
the mixture of the various elements of
which they are composed? Do they tend
toward a new subtype of the white
race? What is the average for stature,
available ..to those measured
Preserves Types IB Plaster. .
For the benefit of future generations
an attempt to preserve the features of
tne tnorougnDrea American of th prcs
tu? cs r
weight, head and chest dimensions, size ent day is being made by Dr. Hrdllcka
of hand and foot, temperature, pulse
rate, respiration and muscular strength?
What is the prevailing color of their
eyes and hair?
Seta 'Age Limit.
"In order to approach a definite an
swer to these and other questions, and
in order . to establish much-needed
standards for future comparisons, I am
personally making a series of scrupu
lously careful tests and measurements
of healthy adult white Americans, both
of whose parents . and all ' of whose '
grandparents were natives of the United
States. Those, examined are of both
sexes and between 24 and 60 years of
age. All. persons fulfilling these re
quirements and not cripples or chronic
invalids are earnestly invited to present
themselves, when convenient, for ex
amination. The study, to be of real
value, must include at least 200 men
and as many women, and it will be dif
ficult to reach these numbers without
the voluntary co-operation of many
friends. . . -
and fullbloods of both our Indian and
negro types are being similarly treated.
Each of these types the old white
Americans, the Indians and the Amer-
lean negroes will be represented at
different life stages, in a series of life
size plaster busts sculpturd from life -masks.
Each series begins with two
new-born infants a boy and girt
Next are a boy and girl of 9 months, .
and then follow a male and female of
each of the following ages: 3, 6, 10, li.
20, 28, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 85, and others
over, 100, if obtainable. Already the
series include American and Indian
women of 95, while among the negroes .
there are two well authenticated cen
tenarians, both women, one 103 and the .
Dr. Wiley's Baby Heads Series.
Under the doctor's directions, these
busts are being made by Frank Micka. '
a talented sculptor. Those of the in- -f
ants are the only models made full -length
and not cast from life masks.
The sculptor visits the homes of the in-
The entire examination of each indi- fants' parents and models the little ones
vidual requires but 15 or 20 minutes
and calls for no greater exposure of
the body than the removal of the shoes or excited.
while height is being measured, or, in
the case of women, the loosening of the
hair while the dimensions of the head
are being taken. None of the subjects'
while they sleep or lie quietly awake.
They are never in the least disturbed
The American "thorough-
wrinkle or vein, every mole, hair or
eyebrow. The reproduction of each fea
ture is so accurate that It needs no re
touching whatsoever by the sculptor. It
Is occasionally difficult to obtain a dig
nified expression pleasing both to the
subject and to others.
The Modus Operaadl.
In the studio the writer was shown
tlie modus operandi of maklna- these
l.ter lifted off. a half at a lime. After
a lifelike reproduction of Ihe face h
Ih us been made In da, th model site
for the head, neck and ahouldera, whoee
accurate reproduction la aured br
cartful meaiurenn n1. pevats.1 alttlnga
are required befrre such a buat Is tat
("factory. I pon Ita baa la placed the
nam, age and generatlnn record of th
"Th serlea of Indian boats has new
been completed end that of th tiesroe
Is wU under way, lr. Hrdllcka con
tinued. "Kr the American aerie we
atlll need a new-born lrl and a man of
... In this aeries It haa len difficult,
with the mor aaxl. to secure normal
aiihjerta In whom there lias ben He
Intermixture nf foreign Mood nrr
than the ureal -aranriparenta. In a fw
more generation aurh sn undertaking
would pmbahly b beyond hep en ft
la th old American atork dlaanlvlnsr
Into the new Amerlran nation. Thalr
marrlane with white of foreign birth
art steadily Increasing.
"This la no leaa tru of our negroa
and Indiana. I-efs then a fifth of Waah
Inaton'e no.oo nearoea ra still b r
garded as of pur blood.
Type Feat IMiaparaHal.
"More rapidly etlll la our Indian rsie,
as known to the while pmneera, 1lap
peering. Thl la du not a Inn to In
creasing death rate and advancing In
terbreeding with other lace, but al
to great change In phalqwe, ttui.J
by altered mode of llf and r ad
vancing clvlllutlon. It la almoBt Impoe.
albl now to find icimen of full
blood Indian men and a omen of many
types. k.vn wber blood remain rel
atively cur th facial feature and
expreaelona of ailulta aa well aa of cMl-
bred" series begins with a life-size cast no less than 11VI pounds at birth,' and and Indian a cast of the face Is first
of John Preston Wiley, the youngecthe cast shows a "buster" of a young- taken In plaster of Paris by a method
baby boy of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, the ster. which is as novel as it is ingenious.
noted chemist and pure food champion. In the preparation of busts of adults From the inside of this cast of the face
sents many Interesting sides- -. How .names will, of course, be published, al- This was a remarkable child, weighing irf the three groups American, negro is made a clay mold that shows every
life masks and finished caats. Over the Jrrn underlining mtki rhangea.
subjects shoulders is rirst placed a
piece of calico which protects his cloth
ing from the planter. Then his hair Is
smoothed back and tied down with a
bandeau, wnlrh proems leave his en
tire foreliesd bare. To prevent Ita ad
hering to the plaater, such hair aa will
be exposed to the mask aa the eye
brows, beard and that bordering the
forehead Is gres'sed with soft soap.
The entire skin of the face Is next cov
ered with a thin oil and cotton is placed
In each ear.
Plaster mixed with certain Ingredl
' ents, determined by the special require
Jnenla of each case. Is then applied
gently upon the face, like cream. It
Is first spread over the mouth, chin and
'jaw the moat movable parts of the
face and as soon as it ha ao fr hard
ened as not to be disturbed by the sub
ject's swallowing or moving his Hp,
the sculptor works hla plantar up to t'i
top of the forehead, being always care
ful to leave openings at theeyea and
nostrils. The process ha been reduced
to such a fin art that there I abso
lutely no distortion of feature and th
most nervous subject suffer no dla
The FlnlMBlna; Toartiei.
After Ita removal th hardened muk
is haired down the line or the none, le
backed with a stout supporting bus. I
filled Inside with modeling clny and I
I'mler the Influent of clothing end or
life within door th skin of our
Indian I growing decidedly lighter.
Their faces r growing fuller and lee
expreanlve. their bodlee stouter end
oftener furnilrsa. Th lithe, sirens,
fleet, sharp-rut youna Indian of th
past I now ldom aeen. ret among
mountain trll.es who atlll lie thslr own
life. Th Mm I Hue of th Im
pressive, heavily wrinkled. rloua old
Indian men. and of tl alrong. healthy
Indian women. Within i ar cr.
talnly wlthlu three or four generation
our Indiana wilt liav aaeurried th
feature and ih alocniiniy aitly uf
the white man and partly of th civil
ised Japktieae. Manchtirlsn and Korean.
"To aav for posterity enduring rec
ord uf all of then tlre Vanishing
type th old American white, tl
purn-blood ntirs nd th Indian full
blood photograph ar Inpiiff If It nt,
ml It I for thl reason that w r
etrlng to repruduc them In ilaaler.
No Similar systematic utulertuktng has
aa et been niuda In any country nr by
"Th thre erlea of btieta Whe com
pleted are to he exhibited at th rn-.mi-Cllfornl
i:ooeHinn at Hsn
Plegu, in 1 1 5. and will later .com
the property of the permanent niw
neiirn of thai city."
U'M"J rulil.'Ull, Jh I Href W t'klnal