JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
Even though masses of people had been used in panoramic photography for some years (thousands of people, usually soldiers, gathered to form a living liberty bell, or portrait of George Washington, or some such thing) , I cannot recall the use of humans as a direct statistical aid as in this bio-bar graph, found in the pages of The Illustrated London News for 1912 (page 357).
The article asks the question of whether air travel (and flight in general) was "safe", and responded by graphing its "yes" response with this image. The larger groups in the top half of the image represent the number of flyers flying for that particular country; the small groups below show the number of aviators killed. (There is no date of reference in particular but it seems to me that these are total deaths since flying began in Europe in earnest in 1905.) The photo montage below shows a selection of some of the most famous dead aviators. The number of deaths as a percentage of those flying seemed quite acceptable in the year of publication (1912) ; however if these figures were iterated forward to 2011 the death rate would be staggering, sending many thousands of aviators (and crew and passengers) to their deaths each year. In the United States we save that safety failure for deaths in automobile accidents, which still kill about the same number of Americans each year as were U.S. soldiers lost for the entire war in Vietnam. In spite of this the odds for survival looked pretty good in 1912.