College Composites.

The November Century has an article on composite photograps of college classes. It is interesting to study the differences in the portraits of various college classes and see how closely they resemble the co-composite of all the seniors in the prominent New England colleges last year. Representative portraits of the class of '87 from Harvard, Yale, Bowdoin, Cornell, Amherst, Johns Hopkins and Williams are given; also a composite of the Harvard faculty. Portraits of the senior classes in the different colleges for women are also given, so we have before us the typical college senior of both sexes. "Composite photographs of college classes should furnish more important evidence as to the value of this method of typical representation than any which could be derived from composites of less closely related groups. Will all the senior classes of the same college yield the same composite face? By comparing the photograps any one can see at a glance that this is not the case. There is a difference as distinct as the impression which different classes make on the minds of their instructors or fellow students. The class individuality asserts itself, and we can hope to get the general type only when a co-composite of many class composites has been made, and this will then be perhaps somewhat untrue, for I suspect that the type of senior in our American colleges is slowly changing. Would the composites of the same class in different colleges be identical? Many will probably be surprised at the diversity of those senior portraits. Although we are not justified in taking any of these as exhibiting the general type of senior in each college, they must be regarded as approximations to that type, and closer approximations as the number in the group is large. Perhaps in the case of Harvard the number is large enough to give accurately the general type. They serve fairly well to show the diversities in type of the students at the colleges and universities which are represented.

"These diversities are the resultants of many conditions. The difference in locality from which the students are drawn is, perhaps, the most tangible of these conditions, and is probably a considerable factor in the result. But many conditions too subtile to be dealt with by ordinary statistics, can find fitting expression in the composite photograph. This shows at a glance much that the statician's tables could never give, and tells many things which could never find expression in words. The influences of parentage, of home training, of the "atmosphere" of the college in which three or four years have been spent-in a word of heredity and environment-are here all summed up and averaged."- Then follow the photographs of a large number of senior classes, all of which furnish interesting study, but we would especially be interested in the composite of Harvard, '87 and also in that of the Harvard faculty. A co composite of 449 from all the leading colleges completes the list, and is interesting as showing the typical college senior of to-day.- "In the co-composites it is probable that the number of faces is large enough to give a general type. They are made in such a way that the results are the same as those which would have been obtained by making them directly from the original negatives. Co-composites of succeeding classes in the same institution would not vary much, if at all, from these. The types which they give are the general ones of students in all these representative colleges.- The article ends with a technical discussion of the merits of different orders of exposure of the negatives, which is not of general interest.

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