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always busy but never

Combination Proportions. — A careful observation of the faces of the next fifty or one hundred people will convince you that there may be all kinds and degrees of combinations of proportion of the three sections of the face...
      Deficient energy with large vitality and large endurance often gives us the puttering type of individual, one who is always busy but never has positive energy enough to work at high pressure and accomplish great things. These people are plodders, the kind of people of whom it used to be said “they could trot all day in a peck measure.”
      Deficient energy with large vitality and deficient endurance indicates great dislike for physical or mental activity, lack of initiative, lack of self-control, impulsiveness and a pretty constant affliction of “that tired feeling.”
      The well balanced face is, after all, the most desirable...

ex Katherine M. H. Blackford, “M.D.”, Character Analysis by the Observational Method : Lesson V — Texture, Consistency and Flexibility; Lessons VI and VII — Proportion. (Arthur Newcomb, ed; Fourth Edition, 1919) : 19 : link (NYPL copy)
same (Harvard copy, via hathitrust) : link

Katherine M. H. Blackford (1875-1958), wikipedia

Blackford is discussed in Elspeth H. Brown, her The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884–1929 (2005).

She writes how Blackford uses “scientific language” to reclothe phrenological approaches to character, and discusses her use of photography to present her findings. Some of those passages : link

“The rhetoric of the ‘fit,’ the ‘unfit,’ and the ‘misfit’ permeates the literature of vocational placement and selection during these years.”
(Brown, p 28)

18 September 2022