Physical growth from birth to adulthood in healthy Swiss children born 1954-1956 is described. The data are based on the First Zurich Longitudinal Study in which 137 individuals of each sex have been followed from birth to adulthood between 1954 and 1976. Distance standards of 20 anthropometric measurements such as weight, height and head circumference are presented as mean values and standard deviations or as median values (for weight and skinfold thickness) with smoothed empirical centiles. Velocity standards are provided for seven anthropometric parameters. The following standard growth charts for clinical use are presented: weight, length/height and head circumference in the perinatal period, in the age range of 0-48 months and in the age range of 1-18 years (including some data on puberty), as well as weight for length/height and height velocity (cross-sectional and peak height centered). Comparison of the growth standards with those of previous Swiss studies and of recent foreign studies revealed only minor differences. Various aspects relevant for the clinical use of growth standards, such as measurement error or secular trend, are discussed.