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Newcomers to experimental psychology might be forgiven for thinking that the flurry of interest in repeated measure designs and their problems is of recent vintage only and that, prior to 1900, most psychologists experienced little or no difficulty with their use or analysis. This is not the case, however, and an interest in their problems and analyses can be detected even in the earliest applications of analysis of variance to psychology. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to survey critically work on repeated measure designs and their analysis over the period 1940 to 1950. During this decade it is possible to discover the beginnings of all of the approaches and attitudes that colour contemporary thinking, from the outright radicalism of those who would reject the use of repeated measure designs almost completely, to those who view the problem as one of adapting existing techniques in design and analysis to take account of the specific features of such designs. The keys to understanding the work are the degree of insight into the structure of the designs exhibited by the people involved and their attitudes to subjects as a factor.