|Contact | Links|
WHAT ARE LITTLE BOY'S MADE OF ?
The Child Growth Tests were done by J. M. Tanner & R. H. Whitehouse for the Institute of Child Health, and funded by the Ministry of Health.
For main page on this site - please go to: //www.theirhistory.co.uk
A number of children from the Harpenden Home were part of medical experiments into child growth.
OUR TEST DATA
The data obtained from our tests was used as the bench mark for judging the heights, weights and development of British children for many years. In later years it was thought that possibly the subjects that were chosen as the test data might not fully represent the ordinary British child.
Our Growth Study
Tanner & Whitehouse Harpenden X-Rays
The gonads are protected throughout by special leaded material made into plastic pants for boys and aprons for girls. The dose of X-rays reaching the gonads is too small to be measurable under these condition.
Arm and Calf X-Ray
Position for thigh X-Ray
Position for Calf X-Ray
Position for thigh X-Ray
X-rays Set of 6 or 8 every three months.
Left hand and wrist for skeletal age.
Hand Boy Age 15
Hand Boy Age 15
NOTE ON TECHNIQUES AT HARPENDEN
Harpenden NCH Diet
The loss of fat between the ages of 13 and 15.
Harpenden NCH Diet
Philip Age 10
Professor James Mourilyan Tanner: 1920-2010
Part of a tribute based on a eulogy written and read by Professor Noel Cameron from Loughborough University at his funeral at Exeter Crematorium on August 23rd, 2010, with some extracts from the funeral service conducted by Alison Orchard from the British Humanist Association:
He was born in Camberley Surry to a military family on 1st August 1920, educated at Wellington School, and by the early years of the War he was studying medicine at St Mary’s in London. There was a scheme to send senior medical students abroad to finish their medical training away from the rigours of wartime London, and Jim was sent to the University of Pennsylvania in.
By 1948 he was a lecturer in Physiology at the Sherrington School and following a presentation on his travels to the Royal Society, and a fortuitous meeting with a Dr. Bransby who was in the audience and had spent the war years using a National Children’s home in Harpenden to develop appropriate rationing levels for children, Jim’s Harpenden Longitudinal Growth Study started in 1949 and was to continue for the next 25 years.
The Harpenden study became the core research project of Jim’s career, it formed the dataset on which many of his most significant contributions were based and continues to be a model for those wishing to develop a longitudinal study of human growth and development.
During an academic and research career covering 7 decades and over 300 publications Jim became recognised as the world’s foremost authority on human growth and development or “auxology” as he coined the term for the study of human growth.
What could show up on our medical photographs
The high quailty images that were taken during our tests could show the slightest mark.
The medical test photographs were taken a few days after my leg had been caned by our class teacher.
The photograph was eventually sent to the headmaster.
Testing of NCH Children by Millicent Lucy Coleman
A study based on the work by Millicent Lucy Coleman on Enuresis (bedwetting) on children in the National Children's Home during March from NCH records over five years.
In the Branches and Approved Schools it was taken
The study was based on one full month over five years. It should be noted that from full years records the percentages could be increased as to the numbers of individuals who experienced bedwetting during one full year, but many of these were isolated incidents or occurred very infrequently.
It was also noted that on a daily average in the Children's Homes during the five years 2.6% of boys of school age were wet during the day. There was little difference between the six year old and eight year old age groups in this matter, and that 1% suffered from soiling during the day.
Since the start of the survey, practically nothing has been added to the lists of method of prevention, one branch advocated salty suppers, without giving a reason for this course or showing any evidence of its success.
Source of Data Reference 1960s Period.
The above two pages of my records were compiled by the Sister or Houseparent, in total the figures might be inaccurate, simply down to the failure of making the note early on in the day. The busy schedule of the staff working in the day, meant that most paper records were often completed at the end of the day when the children had gone off to bed and there was a quiet time for paperwork to be completed. Remembering exactly what had happened first thing in the morning as to which child had suffered from bedwetting, was only one of many records to complete when the log of daily events and food consumption of that day together with planning the meals for the following day, might seem more important.
I think a few of my recorded events from Jan to July 1966 might be missing from the accounts.
Individual Dietary Survey
BY E. R. BRANSBY, Ministry of Health, Whitehall, Landon, S. W. I
Collection of data National Children’s Home.
For breakfast a child might have porridge, bread and butter and a cup of cocoa. The porridge bowl was put on the scales and set to zero. The porridge was measured into the bowl in tablespoons and these were recorded.
The porridge was then weighed. An equal weight of porridge was then taken and put into the Kilner jar for chemical analysis. The number of slices of bread a child ate was recorded, and each slice weighed, and then duplicates were put into the Kilner jar for chemical analysis. The amount of butter used by each child was weighed each day and a duplicate weight put into the Kilner jar for each day. For the cocoa, the cup was put on the scale, the pointer set to zero, the cocoa poured in and the amount recorded in cupfuls, and weighed. The scale pointer was set back to zero, the sugar was put in the cocoa in teaspoons and weighed. Duplicate amounts of sugar and cocoa were then put into the Kilner jar for chemical analysis.
Each evening the children were asked to describe the food they had eaten during the previous 24hr., that is, the food already recorded by weighing and measures and duplicated for chemical analysis.
It is believed that the survey in the National Children’s Home gave a satisfactory comparison of weighing, homely measures and chemical analysis as methods of survey. It was not a satisfactory test of the questioning method as this would usually operate, since the children took a lively interest in the proceedings and familiarized themselves with their food more than is usual. The results are, however, presented, as they show that, under the conditions of the test, close agreement can be attained between the results of weighing and questioning.
National Children's Home Diet
Average daily intake of foods found in the National Children''s Home, Harpenden
INSTRUMENTS OF TORTURE
Tanner/Whitehouse Skinfold Caliper
This instrument, which has been specifically designed for the accurate measurement of sub-cutaneous tissue, was developed in close collaboration with the London University Institute of Child Health, and it incorporates the recommended principles for standard usage in such measurements.
Measuring range: 0 mm to 48 mm.
Pressure between Anvils (constant): 10 gms/sq. mm.
Nett weight: 0 4 kg
Dial Graduation: 0 2 mm. £250.
The "Harpenden" Stadiometer is a counter recording instrument, with an effortless counter balanced movement. It will give an accurate and direct reading, to the nearest millimetre over a range of 600 mm to 2100 mm. Specification.
The main frame ot this instrument is rigidly made ot light alloy angle and provided with adjustable wall brackets for mounting purposes. The Stadiometer head-block operates via miniature ball-bearing rollers in order to ensure a movement which is free yet without cross-play. The Stadiometer is available with either a standard counter or a high speed Veeder-Root counter (see price list for relevant order codes).
All metal parts have a silver/grey hammer finish . Weight: 12.7 kg approx. £725 / £850
The "Harpenden" Anthropometer is a counter recording instrument which can be effortlessly operated from the tips of its branches. Its user can, therefore, by means of his free finger-tips actually feel his way to his desired measuring points in order to obtain a degree of accuracy not possible with conventional anthropometers.
Specification This instrument gives a direct and accurate reading, to the nearest millimetre, over a range of 50 mm to 570 mm. It is constructed mainly of light alloy anodised to its natural colour.
Its sliding member operates via miniature ball-bearing rollers in order to ensure a movement which is free yet without cross-play. Each instrument is supplied in a well made carrying case, complete with straight and recurved branches, a spare counter and beam extensions for the measuring of heights of up to two metres (When using these a constant should be added to the counter reading). Weight in case: 2.8 kg approx. £850
The Harpenden Neonatometer is a high accuracy, counter recording instrument, specifically designed for growth studies. The ball-bearing mounted carriage has an extremely free movement and is operated via a constant pressure lever, which automatically locks the carriage at the correct measuring point. This mechanism ensures reproducibility of measurement and effectively eliminates variation due to differing operator techniques.
The Harpenden Neonatometer can be supplied in one of two standard lengths: long, for normal neonates and short.
Measuring range: Long, 188 mm to 750 mm. Short, 180 mm to 600 mm.
Nett weight: 2kg
Packed weight: 4kg
Child Attention Equipment
For the easy alignment of children into neat rows.
Worldwide Variation in Human Growth
Worldwide Variation in Human Growth Phyllis B. Eveleth, James M. Tanner Published January 1991 409 pages Hardback | ISBN: 0521350247
The health of a population is most accurately reflected in the rate of growth of its children. It is this theme which underlies the analysis and presentation of what is by far the largest compilation of growth data ever assembled. The first edition, published in 1976, included all known reliable recent results on height, weight, skinfolds and other body measurements from all parts of the globe.
In this edition, the very numerous measurements taken between 1976 and 1988 have been included as well as the results of the large number of new studies made on rate of maturation as evinced by bone age and pubertal development stages.
Many sections of the book dwell on disentangling the effects of the environment and heredity on growth, and thus answer the question of whether one universal standard suffices for all peoples of the world, or whether different populations (such as races or nations) should each have their own optimal growth standards.
Written by practical people with experience of the problems in developing countries, this book explains in simple terms the different sorts of growth surveys, how to set about making them, and which sort to choose.
Tanner, J, Whitehouse, R and Takaishi, M (1966a). Standards from birth to maturity for height weight height velocity and weight velocity: British children 1965 Part I.
New Data Needed
Growth specialists are fairly sure the Tanner charts don't reflect the development of today's adolescents, but until new work is done, no one knows to what extent. "We know from small studies that ethnicity, nutrition and even the altitude of where you live affects age at puberty," We also need to establish the best way of obtaining the information. Do we ask children themselves, or ask them to answer a survey? Will they tell the truth, or what they think their friends are saying?
Boys become worried about puberty and body changes. We need to establish for certain if boys' sexual maturity is happening earlier, taking longer, or is merely more apparent now. Studies so far show boys probably have less access to information than girls; wet dreams and erections seem even less likely than periods to appear as frank discussion topics in primary school and early secondary years.
Widths of bone muscle and fat in the upper arm and calf from age 3-18 years.
Tanner JM, Hughes PC, Whitehouse RH.
In the Harpenden Growth Study arm and calf radiographs were taken on boys and girls over varying periods. Widths of bone, muscle and fat halfway down the arm and at maximum calf diameter were measured, with widths of bone cortex and medulla where possible.
Mean distance and velocity curves are given for chronological age 3-18 years together with curves based on time from peak-height velocity (PHV) and time from peak muscle velocity over the pubertal period. Muscle widths have their peak velocity more nearly coincident with the sitting height peak than with PHV; in the average child the whole muscle spurt lasts two years from start to finish.
Calf muscle is much more pronounced in girls in comparison with boys than is arm muscle; this is true at all ages, with sex differences at maturity amounting to 10% for calf and 20% for arm. Humerus cortex has a marked spurt in both sexes, with the peak contemporaneous with the muscle peak.
Both humerus and tibia medulla widths have a spurt in boys, but none in girls, where the means do not change from age 11 onwards. The average girl actually loses fat in the arm for a year at puberty, a result which contrasts with the velocity curve derived from mass cross-sectional data. Correlations between widths of bone in arm and calf average 0.5 during the pre-adolescent years and 0.4 at maturity; those between muscle widths in arm and calf 0.4 in pre-adolescence and 0.4 again at maturity. Between-tissue correlations are very low at all ages.
The adolescent growth spurt
Boys and girls in the Harpenden growth study.
Tanner JM, Whitehouse RH, Marubini E, Resele LF.
Logistic curves have been fitted to the growth during puberty of the 55 boys and 35 girls of the Harpenden Growth Study who were measured every three months during puberty and thereafter until growth ceased. Very good fits were obtained for stature, sitting height, subischial leg length, biacromial and bi-iliac diameters from approximately six months after the beginning of the adolescent spurt.
This beginning, called "take-off", was determined graphically as the point of minimum velocity. The total height gained from take-off point to cessation of growth averaged 28 cm in boys and 25 cm in girls with standard deviations of about 4 cm.
The adult sex difference in height was due much more to the later take-off in boys than to a greater male adolescent spurt. A sex difference in the spurt occurred in sitting height but not in leg length.
Mean-constant curves for the four measurements are presented. In each measurement size at take-off and total adolescent gain were nearly independent, the average correlation coefficient being --0-2. The correlations between adolescent gains in different measurements averaged only 0-47, and between peak velocities of different measurements only 0-27.
This implies considerable shape change at adolescence. In contrast the average correlation between ages at which the peak velocities were reached was 0-87. Ages at take-off, at peak velocity, and at menarche were independent of mature size, though correlated with percentage of adult size reached at the ages in question, a measure of somatic maturity. Relationships with the development of breasts, pubic hair and genitalia were examined; ages at take-off and at peak velocity correlated to the extent of 0-6 to 0-8 with ages of B2 and PH2 but both these parameters and also peak velocities were uncorrelated with the rapidity with which sex characters developed.
His work has included directing the Harpenden Growth Study, which ran from 1948 to 1971, and puublishing an Atlas of Children's Growth: Normal Variation and Growth Disorders.
The Atlas provides an excellent example of modern somatotyping in which the old quarrels are transcended. Here we can see how the various difficulties in somatotyping have been dealt with in practice. He provides photos that illustrate: both the difficulty and feasibility of somatotyping children, how well the somatotypes of children match their adult somatotypes (following Walker and Tanner, 1980), the issue of the relative constancy of size and shape during childhood, longitudinal series of monozygotic twins that tracks their development from childhood to maturity.
Destruction of Children
It appears that all the photographs that were taken during our many tests were destroyed - unless anyone knows better?
All the photographs will show fine height guide lines in the background.
"Professor Tanner retired some years ago, but one of his colleagues remembers his work and the studies which were carried out.
When Professor Tanner retired, all the photographs and negatives remained at the Institute, and were stored in a fire-proof steel-lined room.
In 1998, this room was converted into a laboratory, and it was decided that all the contents should be destroyed.
The photographs and negatives were carefully removed and destroyed by a professional company which specialises in the incineration of highly confidential material."
A friend with Lenton Valero age 11 Height 4''4".
Attending Batford Junior School at this time.
Lenton in 2008
40 years on, and 40 feet from where the original photos were taken.
Lenton in 2009
Lenton with his new friend.
Still 40 feet from the original 1966 photo.
Lenton in 2010, Dave gets his ear pulled.
100 feet from the test centre
For main page please go to:
The Turntable October 1964
An image showing the rotating table, we stood on. With info as to date, age and subject number at the top of the photo.