In spite of the large amount of recent work done on the many aspects of the subject of the vital lung capacity, disagreement still exists as to the best choice of standards for predicting the normal capacity of a given individual. The recent interest of thoracic surgeons in the use of vital capacity measurements as an aid to determine surgical risk adds another group to the large number of clinicians already seeking suitable normal standards for use in this work. Hutchinson's1 pioneer work led to the belief that the standing height was the best measurement on which to base calculations of lung capacity. Peabody and Wentworth2 preferred height measurements in their estimations. Lundsgaard and Van Slyke3 advocated the use of certain chest dimensions. West4 found surface area most reliable. Dreyer5 prepared formulas for estimating vital capacity from height, weight, stem height and chest circumference, and these have been widely used.