One can think of the average height reached at a particular age by individuals as the historical record of their nutritional experience. Medical research has confirmed that nutritional status – and thus physical stature – is related to food consumption and therefore to family income, and therefore to wages and to prices and therefore to the standard of living. Thus, height can be used as a proxy for these economic variables, even if it is also affected by the population's degree of urbanization and disease experience. Why should we be interested in this line of research? For example, anthropometric research can illuminate the well-being of some members of a society: women, children, aristocrats, subsistence farmers, and slaves, for whom market wages are seldom available. In addition, it has been shown that the biological standard of living can diverge from conventional indicators of well-being during the early stages of industrialization. The essays in this volume explore the well-being of diverse populations in Europe and America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Trends and cycles in height are explored among slaves, indentured servants, students in the West Point Military Academy, in the École Polytechnique (Paris), in The Citadel (Charleston, South Carolina), Carlschule (Stuttgart) as well as in the British and in the Austrian Army.