— 99 Percent Invisible (@99piorg) August 24, 2016
The latest episode of 99 Percent Invisible explains the role of the American military in developing the art of measuring large groups of people, starting in terms of averages and then taking into account variations from the mean. They reference the original research of USAF 1st Lt. Gilbert S. Daniels, who analyzed 60 biometric measurements from 3,300 young airmen, including such obscure measurements as gluteal furrow height (measured from the floor to just below the lowest point in the furrow under one’s right buttock). Daniels would go on to help the Air Force to radically alter design philosophy to take into account the variability he observed, thereby giving birth to the field of ergonomics.
It is certainly nice to see nerdy young USAF analysts finally getting their due.