The Ladd School


The Ladd School

Henry Goddard — Cabinet Card (1887), The Kallikak Family, 2nd Edition (1913)

Dr. Henry Goddard & The Kallikak Family

Ephemera, Book

1887, 1913

"What is to be done with them — with such people as make up a large proportion of the bad side of the Kallikak family?"

Dr. Henry Herbert Goddard & "The Kallikak Family"

This exhibit showcases an intriguing figure from early 20th-century psychology and eugenics - Dr. Henry Herbert Goddard (1866-1957). Displayed here is a pristine second edition of his seminal work, "The Kallikak Family: A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness" (1913), and an 1887 cabinet card portrait of a young Goddard.

Goddard, a dedicated researcher, served as the Director of Research at the Training School for Feeble-Minded Girls and Boys in Vineland, New Jersey, from 1906 to 1918. His contributions to the field were profound, notably translating the Binet intelligence test into English and introducing the term "moron" into clinical language.

"The Kallikak Family," his most recognized work, examines the heredity of intellectual disability, and was greatly influential in its time. The exhibited copy, bound in unblemished blue pulpboard, is a testament to the book's durability and impact, surviving in excellent condition across more than a century. A barely decipherable inscription in pencil lingers in the front matter, inviting speculation about past readers.

Also on display, the accompanying cabinet card captures Goddard in his youthful days, a fresh graduate from Haverford College, Pennsylvania, with a Master's degree in mathematics. An inscription on the reverse side reads, "Property of A.B. Clement, until fall," hinting at the artifact's journey before reaching us.

This exhibit invites reflection on Goddard's controversial legacy in the fields of psychology and eugenics, acknowledging his significant influence while also considering the ethical complexities of his work.


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