1878 Galton Criminal types photocomposite

1878 Galton Criminal types photocomposite

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This image is part of the feature The First Scientific Photographers

Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: "Composites made from Portraits of Criminals convicted of Murder, Manslaughter or Crimes of Violence" from Pearson's "Life of Galton". Galton developed (initially in parallel with Herbert Spencer) the idea and method of combining images of the faces of a number of individuals sharing a 'characteristic' (health, race, criminality etc) to gain an average type. He believed his findings would help in medical diagnosis, criminal investigations, etc. In fact the composite of the criminal type was taken by Galton as a failure - producing nothing more than an average picture of humanity. It was concluded criminality was more a mental than physical trait and that the two were not connected as hoped. He considered his Jewish composite far more successful.

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Keywords: aggression, black and white, black-and-white, composite, crime, criminology, eugenics, francis, galton, herbert spencer, human, identification, monochrome, people, person, photograph, photography, type, violent

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