From The New Yorker:
In the eighteen-eighties, residents of cities across Britain might have noticed an aged, bald, bewhiskered gentleman
[Sir Francis Galton] sedulously eying every girl he passed on the street while manipulating something in his pocket. What they were seeing was not lechery in action but science. Concealed in the man's pocket was a device he called a 'pricker,' which consisted of a needle mounted on a thimble and a cross-shaped piece of paper. By pricking holes in different parts of the paper, he could surreptitiously record his rating of a female passerby's appearance, on a scale ranging from attractive to repellent. After many months of wielding his pricker and tallying the results, he drew a 'beauty map' of the British Isles. London proved the epicenter of beauty, Aberdeen of its opposite.
[In 1850, Galton sailed to southern Africa and ventured into parts of the interior never before seen by a white man... He became adept in the use of the sextant, at one point using it to measure from afar the curves of an especially buxom native woman: "Venus among Hottentots."]