Historical human height and the benefits of using properly sized mannequins

King Magnus of Livonia and his wife Maria by Exporabbit

The average height of humans over the centuries has been subject to various factors, including diet, health, living conditions and genetics. In general, there has been a trend of gradual increases in the average height of the human population, although there are regional and time variations. Here is a brief overview of the average height of humans over the centuries:

Early history (prehistoric to antiquity):
In prehistoric times and throughout most of antiquity, average human height varied widely between different populations and time periods. In general, people during this period were relatively short, with an average height of about 160 cm (about 5’3″).

Middle Ages and Early Modern Period:
During the medieval and early modern period (approximately 5th to 18th centuries), most populations remained relatively short, averaging about 160 cm to 170 cm (approximately 5’3″ to 5’7″). This was largely influenced by limited food supplies, poor hygiene and disease.

19th century:
In the 19th century, average height began to gradually increase in some parts of the world. Improvements in nutrition, hygiene and health care played a role in this. The average height was around 170 cm to 175 cm (about 5’7″ to 5’9″).

20th century and later:
Throughout the 20th century, the trend of increasing height continued, especially in developed countries. Improved nutrition, medical care and living conditions contributed to this increase. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, average height worldwide ranged between approximately 165 cm and 180 cm (approximately 5’5″ to 5’11”).

It is important to note that these data are general estimates and there is considerable variability across regions, social classes, and other demographic factors. In addition, the figures are based on available historical data and may vary by population.

The benefits of using display mannequins in historically correct height

Using mannequins in historically correct height when displaying historical clothing and objects has several important benefits and purposes:

Authenticity and Visual Impact:
Mannequins in historically correct length help accurately show the historical context and the proportions of clothing and objects. This creates an immediate visual impact and gives visitors a realistic idea of how these items were worn and used in the time they were manufactured.

Immersion in History:
Mannequins of historically correct length literally bring visitors closer to the past. They show how clothes and objects fit the physical stature and posture of people in different historical periods, creating a deeper understanding of what everyday life was like.

Educational Value:
Using realistic mannequins can add educational value to the exhibit. Visitors can observe the evolution of fashion and style, as well as learn about the materials, techniques and social customs associated with clothing and objects from the past.

Mannequins in historically correct length also aid in storytelling. They make it possible to recreate specific situations and events and show how people dressed and behaved in different contexts, such as daily life, ceremonies, wartime, and so on.

Audience Engagement:
The use of realistic mannequins can engage the audience on a deeper level with the exhibition. Visitors can more easily empathize with the people of the past and get a better idea of what it was like to live in those days.

Cultural and Historical Appreciation:
Mannequins in historically correct length emphasize the rich diversity of cultures and time periods. They show how clothing and objects have evolved and reflect cultural trends and influences that have traveled throughout history.

In short, using mannequins in historically correct length increases the authenticity, educational value and emotional connection of visitors to historical exhibits. It brings the past to life in a way that text and static displays alone cannot match, creating a deeper understanding and appreciation of our history.

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