Skinfold callipers for estimating body fat, England, 1954-1960

Made:
1954-1960 in St Albans
maker:
British Indicators Limited

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London.

Skinfold calipers for measuring subcutaneous tissue thickness in estimation of body fat for anthropometric population studies, as used in the Harpenden Growth Study, and tested by the MRC Committee on Growth and Form, owned by FP Ellis, with instructions and table of log transformation of measurements, made by British Indicators Ltd., St. Albans, Herts, 1954-1960.

Callipers are used to estimate body fat by measuring the thickness of tissue directly under the skin. These callipers were used during the Harpenden Growth Study (1948-1970), which looked at the growth of children from a children’s home in Harpenden in Hertfordshire. The study monitored them from pre-school to maturity.

The callipers were tested and used by the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Committee on Growth and Form, set up in 1951. The aim was to gather scientific data about the human body, establish norms for weight and height for different ages and sections of society and identify those factors which affect the rate of growth.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
1995-312
Materials:
glass, metal (unknown), plastic (unidentified) and steel (metal)
Measurements:
undefined
overall (lying flat): 40 mm x 257 mm x 135 mm, 0.482 kg
type:
callipers
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
credit:
Contemporary Medical Archives Centre

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