Between the s and the s, several ivy league colleges had a very strange requirement for all their incoming freshmen students. Harvard, Yale, Wellesley College, Vassar as well as Brown University, were among the elite American colleges that asked all the young men and women enrolled in their first year, to pose nude. He wrote:. I reported to a windowless room on an upper floor, where men dressed in crisp white garments instructed me to remove all of my clothes. And then — and this is the part I still have trouble believing — they attached metal pins to my spine. There was no actual piercing of skin, only of dignity, as four-inch metal pins were affixed with adhesive to my vertebrae at regular intervals from my neck down.
No matter what embarrassments Harvard students might face in their first few weeks on campus, none will be as mortifying as posing for nude photos, which used to be as much a part of the college registration process as scheduling classes and choosing a dorm. For decades, thousands of students at Harvard and other prestigious schools would arrive on campus, strip down, and pose in front of a camera with four-inch metal pins sticking out of their spines, essentially turning them into human porcupines. That means photos may still somewhere exist of students of that era including Hillary Clinton, George H. It all began in , when the Harvard Physical Education Department took nude photos of all freshmen. At this time, there were no women at Harvard.
That Time Harvard and Yale Took Naked Photos of All Their Freshmen Students
The pictures at first were taken to study posture. Later they were made by a researcher examining the relationship between body shape and intelligence. Among those who would have been subject to the ritual were former President Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton, but it was not immediately known if their photos are at the Smithsonian, which has never displayed the pictures. DeAngelis, assistant general counsel at the Smithsonian, said Friday. Previously, the photos could be seen by students and researchers only, she said.
The Ivy League nude posture photos were taken in the s through the s of all incoming freshmen at certain Ivy League and Seven Sisters colleges as well as Swarthmore , ostensibly to gauge the rate and severity of rickets , scoliosis , and lordosis in the population. The photos are simple black and white images of each individual standing upright from front, back and side perspectives. What remained of the images were transferred to the Smithsonian and most were destroyed between and