The first work on automated facial recognition was funded by the American CIA in the early 1960s and led by an early pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence named Woody Bledsoe. Despite the fact that much of Bledsoe’s research was classified Top Secret, many of the techniques he developed would become standards in the fields of facial recognition and AI. Bledsoe’s approach to facial recognition were inspired by measurement techniques employed by early 20th Century physiognomists such as Cesare Lombroso and Samuel Morton, which Bledsoe adopted in his attempt to use computers to recognize individual faces. Bledsoe’s technique relied on the construction of a “standard head” – a mathematical model to represent a generic head – based on measurements of the faces of people working in his lab. He used that standard head as a benchmark against which to measure other faces. Going back to Bledsoe’s original research, I reconstructed his ”standard head” from information left behind in his archives at the University of Texas and provided to me by Prof. Stephanie Dick, who studies Bledsoe’s legacy. This is a drawing of the mathematical abstraction of a human face that Bledsoe used in his experiments. Bledsoe’s company, Panoramic Research, conducted other work on behalf of the CIA including work on the CIA’s experiments with LSD and mind control under the code name MK-Ultra.