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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/260

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

asylum in England one out of every dozen brains examined showed a weight of 55 ounces or more.

In Nachrichten, of Göttingen, 1860, pp. 70-71, Dr. Rudolph "Wagner gave a table of thirty-two persons whose brains he examined, among whom were five distinguished men; but the largest brain weight recorded in it, 55.9 ounces, has opposite to it the legend, "Idiotic grown man."

To this list we might have added a large number of persons whose brains weighed less than 53 ounces. Yet the brains of Daniel Webster, Agassiz, Napoleon I, Lord Byron, Baron Dupuytren, General Skoboleff, and other famous men concerning whose large brains much has been said, weighed less than this; and we might have appended hundreds of brain weights of idiots, imbeciles, and other insignificant persons, from 53 ounces down to 49 ounces—probably about the average weight in central Europe. In support of our contention is, further, an observation by Dr. Rudolph Wagner in Nachrichten, February 29, 1860, pp. 71, 72, that "very intelligent men certainly do not differ strikingly in brain weight from less gifted men."

Dr. Clendenning presents in the Croonian Lectures the following entries of brain weights of male subjects of different ages, the tendency of which is to show that the male encephalon loses, after it is grown, more than an ounce every ten years:

15 to 30 years 50.75 ounces.
30 to 50 " 49.66 "
50 to 70 " 47.1 "
70 to 100 " 41.5 "

A number of other eminent anatomists have given similar evidence of decrease in brain weight as intellectual power increases.

The "Professor at the Breakfast Table," the late Dr. O. W. Holmes, a learned man and experienced physician and professor of anatomy in Harvard University for thirty-five years, says: "The walls of the head are double, with a great chamber of air between them, over the smallest and most crowded organs. Can you tell me how much money there is in a safe, which also has thick walls, by kneading the knobs with your fingers? So, when a man fumbles about my forehead, and talks about the organs of individuality, size, etc., I trust him as much as I should if he felt over the outside of my strong box, and told me that there was a five-dollar or a tendollar bill under this or that rivet. Perhaps there is, only he doesn't know anything about it. We will add that, even if he knows the inward dimensions of the strong box, he could not thence determine the amount of cash deposited in it."

The internal size of Spurzheim's skull was in cubic inches exactly