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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Brain Test: 1925

Brain Test: 1925

August 17, 1925. "Students of George Washington University in brain test." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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The team

According to the article, "Professor Moss" (front center) devised the sleep deprivation experiments but was then one of the subjects in the test himself.

Their finding: Sleep is the result of "intoxication ... caused evidently by an excess of toxins or poisons produced by muscular and nerve exertion," much like a "drunkard" falling asleep and waking up sober.

The ones I'm curious about are the woman second from right in the front row, identified as Katherine Omwake and the woman second from right in the back row, identified as Louise Omwake. Sisters?

(But I feel like a nap after reading about Louise Omwake's activities. She was goalkeeper for the GWU hockey team, captain of the basketball and tennis teams, also active in swimming and track, and evidently a good shot with a rifle. See, among many others, Washington Post 5/15/1927, p. 24. and 5/25/1928, p. M2. One minor puzzle: Post photos of Louise appear to show the woman identified here as Katherine.)

Geeks, Gifted

You say nerds, I say they look smart and interesting.

More Krazy Kat pleeze

Yep, me can hardly solve the math question at the bottom. So give us more Kaa-Razy Kat Club stuff.

[There is no more. The Krazy Kupboard is bare. - Dave]

Sleep study team?

GWU did a nationally-publicized study released in 1925 on how much sleep the brain really needs, and I'd bet that this photo is of the professor (front and center) and grad students who made up that team. The best free clue comes from the preview of a December 13, 1925 New York Times article on the study, which includes these lines: "A Group at George Washington University. Left to right, Front Row -- Lester Petric, Thelma Hunt, Professor Moss, Katherine Omwake and Robert Ward. ... "

[It is indeed them. You can read the article for $3.95. - Dave]


was that term part of the lingo in 1925?

Brain Test Subjects

None of them look like they fell off the turnip truck. Just imagine, they were probably the scientists who helped save this nation while working at facilities such as Los Alamos during WWII.

Brain Test

Just what are they testing for, intelligence or defects?

And here we have the origin of 'Brainiac'

A nerdier looking group is difficult to imagine.


Isn't it interesting how these college kids look so much older than ones today or even a couple of decades ago. I wonder what their actual ages are!


The pens in the pockets of the two guys up front makes me wonder if they were called nerds and I bet they never went to the Krazy Kat Club.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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