It was a horrible time in history, and something we can look back on in sadness. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States. Its mission included not just segregation, but a racial cleansing and the establishment of a strong, pure race untainted by the blood of those that were deemed lesser, whether by race or by disability.
Special Request On-site Photography Request Abstract The American Eugenics Society Records is a small, selective collection offering information on various periods of the Society's development, including correspondence, membership records, and formal and informal material on its history.
Of particular interest are the records of the Society's numerous committees, including the Executive Education, Population Genetics Research, Legislative, and local and state committees, and documentation of AES educational initiatives at state fairs and eugenic health exhibits and contests, especially the Fitter Family Contests.
A scrapbook containing 97 images of Fitter Family and eugenic health exhibits,provides valuable visual information of AES activities. One series in the collection relates to the numerous Princeton Conferences and to a genealogical survey of the populations of Shutesbury and Leverett, Massachusetts, and there is also material on the Population Council.
The collection largely revolves around Frederick Osborn, the moving force in the Society for most of its later history, and it includes approximately papers written or delivered by Osborn concerning eugenics, genetics, or population related topics.
Although the eugenics movement had been gaining strength in the United States for over a decade, there was at the time no formal organization through which to American eugenics society its broader political and educational agenda. As a result, a group of prominent eugenicists founded the Eugenics Committee of the U.
From its base in New Haven, Connecticut, the AES soon attracted the support of nearly every American eugenics society American eugenicist and for the first decade of its existence, at least, was very successful at promoting eugenic ideas to the American public. More an advocacy group than a scientific organization, the AES promoted its ideals of racial betterment, eugenic health, and genetic education through public lectures, conferences, publications, and exhibits at county and state fairs.
Among its most popular promotions were a contest for the best sermon on eugenic theme and a series of "fitter family contests" in which participants' families divided into small, medium, and large family classes were ranked based on information provided on the mental, physical, and moral health of family members.
The AES also sponsored eugenic health exhibits, featuring such exhibits as Mendel's Theater, a presentation of basic principles of genetics and heredity, and the "flashing light exhibit," a board titled "Some people are born to be a burden to the rest," on which lights were set to blink at periodic intervals representing how often a "defective" was born in the United States rapid blinking and how often a "high grade" individual was born slow blinking.
Beginning in the s, the AES began a slow transformation into a less programmatic organization. This figure most often credited with bringing about this shift was Frederick Osborn, Secretary of the Society from until Osborn had a clear impact on the reformulation of AES policies and a greater focus on issues of population control, genetics, and, later, medical genetics.
They remained active in promoting scientific investigation into eugenic topics, sponsoring five conferences at Princeton University between and on population genetics and demography, and drawing an international cast of scientists.
Scope and content The Records of the American Eugenics Society document the varied promotional activities of the foremost organization for eugenic education and advocacy in the United States during the s and s.
Consisting of 9 linear feet of administrative records, correspondence, and formal and informal histories of the Society, the Records span the entire history of the organization from throughthough weighted rather heavily toward the years before the Second World War.
The main body of records includes routine correspondence relating to AES activities and membership, including membership records from the beginning of the Society, correspondence relative to publications and orders for publications. At the end of the collection is a file of 4x6" index cards representing a eugenic study of Shutesbury, Massachusetts, a town selected for eugenic study due to its visible decline over the previous decades and for the suspected high proportion of "degenerate" residents.
Between andthe AES held contests for the best sermon preached on the subject of eugenics. In addition to the nine folders labeled AES Sermon Contest, the collection includes 45 submissions filed under the name of the minister, preached before Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, Unitarian, and Jewish congregations across the country.
A particularly valuable part of the collection is the series of scrapbooks maintained by the Society. The most important of these if the photograph album containing 97 images of Eugenic Health Exhibits at the Kansas Free Fair,and in fairs in Michigan and Texas, including images of the exhibits themselves Mendel's Theater, the flashing light exhibit, guinea pigs, and other exhibitsexterior views of the Eugenic Health buildings, images of eugenicists, including Charles B.
Fairchild, as well as most of the members of the AES Board of Directors over the years, and a number of images of winners of fitter family contests. The other three scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings of articles of eugenic interest, reflecting the AES effort to stay abreast of public perceptions of the field.
Many of the photographs in the scrapbook from Series II.
Links to the digital versions of the images are included in the inventory. You may also view a gallery of all images here.
Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.The American Eugenics Society, founded in by Henry Fairfiild Osborn, President of the American Museum of Natural History, was a large umbrella organization for various factions.
The Society changed its name in to Society for the Study of Social Biology; and again in to S ociety of Biodemography and Social Biology. Apr 08, · Christianity and Eugenics: The Place of Religion in the British Eugenics Education Society and the American Eugenics Society, c– Jun 01, · The American Eugenics Society was founded as a direct result of the Second International Conference on Eugenics, held in New York in Previous Next Photos and caption information courtesy of.
The American Eugenics Society, founded in by Henry Fairfiild Osborn, President of the American Museum of Natural History, was a large umbrella organization for various factions. The Society changed its name in to Society for the Study of Social Biology; and again in to S ociety of Biodemography and Social Biology.
The American Eugenics Society Records is a small, selective collection offering information on various periods of the Society's development, including correspondence, membership records, and formal and informal material on its history. Of particular interest are the records of the Society's numerous committees, including the Executive .
The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the s. represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society.