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ONE AFTERNOON IN THE LATE 1970's, deep in the labyrinthine interior of a massive Gothic tower in New Haven, an unsuspecting employee of Yale University opened a long-locked room in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium and stumbled upon something shocking and disturbing. Shocking, because what he found was an enormous cache of nude photographs, thousands and thousands of photographs of young men in front, side and rear poses. Disturbing, because on closer inspection the photos looked like the record of a bizarre body-piercing ritual: sticking out from the spine of each and every body was a row of sharp metal pins.
and the assumption was that the last embarrassing reminders of a peculiar practice, which masqueraded as science and now looked like a kind of kinky voodoo ritual, had gone up in smoke. The assumption was wrong. Thousands upon thousands of photos from Yale and other elite schools survive to this day.
And then Hersey evoked the specter of the Third Reich: "The Nazis compiled similar archives analyzing the photos for racial as well as characterological content (as did Hooton). . . . The Nazis often used American high school yearbook photographs for this purpose. . . . The American investigators planned an archive that could correlate each freshman's bodily configuration ('somatotype') and physiognomy with later life history. That the photos had no value as pornography is a tribute to their resolutely scientific nature."
This now discredited anthropological research, which began as far back as the 1880s, was conducted by W.H. Sheldon who headed an institute for physique studies at Colombia University. In fact, it is possible that Sheldon himself was the one who beheld Hillary in all her natural glory since he often took the photographs.
....the tobacco industry, using Sheldon's nude photos, conducted research into the relation between Talleywacker size and smoking.