9 – Letter to Frederick Smith from Francis Galton, 26 Jan 1898

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Jan 26/98

42, Rutland Gate. S.W.

Dear Capt Smith

I hope your paper is satisfactorily launched. I spoke to Prof M. Foster about the probability of its arrival.

When you next write, will you kindly tell me a little more about the rope. The question of taughtness is not important, because a mere string or thread by its side, bearing


two marks A, B, wd suffice for the scale, & cd be easily stretched

[sketch indicating “rope thread”]

tight enough; – but I want more especially to know whether you think a thoroughbred would submit to be led and to stand still between the rope & the wall.

I am busy measuring such photos as I possess, of horses who have been photoed[sic] more than once, in a fairly square position, to see how the results


agree, taking the height at withers in all cases as 64” (for there is no scale attached to these) and the results are more than reasonably well accordant.

I take measure in these, simply? thee three

[sketch indicating “AC AB DE FG”]

With your 2 scales, along belly & on side, it will be possible not only to repeat and to verify this sort of work, but to do much


more also. I am ashamed to be troublesome, but only say how grateful I shall be for any that you may send.

Thank you much for the hair I have arranged to have the variously colored[sic] hairs of horses to be analysed at Cambridge.

Some tradesman might drive a paying concern, by selling specimens of hair of famous race horses, neatly mounted between glass. Say three rows of these items in a frame with names below and chief races.


Very faithfully yours

Francis Galton

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