obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.

William Moulton Marston died in 1947, but Wonder Woman and the legend of his work at the National Research Council creating the polygraph live on.


Some writers have attributed the origins of the modern polygraph to John August Larson or Leonarde Keeler, rather than to Marston, because of their development of actual prototypes of multichannel polygraph machines. Alder (1998) provides an informative history of their competing claims and interactions. According to his account, Larson chose an “open science” strategy for pursuing his polygraph research and publishing in scientific journals. Throughout his career, he publicly expressed doubts about the suitability of polygraph tests as evidence in the courts. Keeler, by contrast, patented the hardware for his polygraph machine, controlled who could buy the machines, and marketed his approach to business and government; he did not systematically subject it to peer review. He actively sought to have polygraph evidence, using his machine and with himself as the expert examiner-witness, admitted into testimony in criminal proceedings. Larson worked hard to develop standardized approaches to the polygraph interview, and Keeler stressed the role of the polygraph as an interrogation device and advocated enhancing the discretion of the examiner.

Keeler, like Marston, pursued the use of the polygraph for security purposes, cultivating the market for security screening during the 1940s. In particular, Alder (1998:515-516) describes Keeler’s initiation of polygraph testing at the Oak Ridge nuclear facility beginning in 1946:

There he interrogated all 690 employees of the Atomic Energy Commission subcontractor, Carbide and Carbon Chemical Co. These executives, scientists, engineers, skilled and unskilled laborers were asked to submit voluntarily to testing upon hiring, on a routine basis during employment, and upon termination. Only a tiny percentage dared refuse. The tests resulted in the firing of many employees, and the Oak Ridge program came to an end in 1953 amid accusations of coercion.

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