CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 2629/1/2
TitleHuman twins
Extent1 file (35 cards)
Administrative HistoryLow's interest in anthropometrics extended to the field of twinning in humans and animals. During the period that he was recording data for his 'Growth of Children' study, he also created a similar data set for twin children. He appears to have been one of a group of British scientists interested in this specific research area, which published their reports in journal such as 'Biometrika', 'Metron', 'Genetics' and 'Journal of Heredity.' It is not clear whether he ever published his research, however, his work is acknowledged in an early paper by the eminent geneticist Sir Ronald A. Fisher (1890-1962), 'Triplet Children in Great Britain and Ireland', which was published in 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 102 (1928), pp 286-311.
DescriptionAnthropometric record cards for twin children born between 1926 and 1945.

The cards are identical to those used by Low in his 'Growth of Children' study (see MS 2629/1/1/1), but unlike them, include the subject's full names and addresses. For this reason, access restrictions apply. Each card contains a record of physical measurements taken by Low on eight occasions between birth and adolescence (in most cases the measurements appear to have been conducted between birth and eight years).

The following details are recorded:

Name, address, date of birth, reference number, sex; whether legitimate; whether full time; number of pregnancy; birth weight; weight of placenta (not completed); length of cord (not completed); whether breast- or bottle-fed; eye colour; age at which first tooth cut; and age of parent.

Date of observation; age; weight; head length, breadth, height and circumference; face length and breadth; nasion-alveolus; chin-occiput; chin vertex (often not completed); height at standing, sitting, suprasternal, umbilical, pubic and tip mid finger; width at biacromial and bitrochanteric; length of foot; circumference of chest; fontanelle (antr.); teeth; length of left cubit; nutrition; and trunk length.

From these measurements, the following indicies are calculated and recorded: cephalic; facial; sitting-standing; weight-height; and chest girth-height.

Many of the cards are annotated with further measurements, such as span of arms, and details of blood group, teeth development, complexion and nutrition. Finger prints appear also to have been taken, but are not retained with the card. Low also noted whether the twins were biovular (non-identical) or uniovular (identical).

Although the record series begins in 1926 (i.e. children born in 1926), most of the cards date from the 1940s (i.e. children born in the 1940s). The last measurements were taken in 1949, shortly before Low's death.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess restrictions apply to this record. For further details please seek assistance from Reading Room staff (e-mail: )
Add to My Items