Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reflections In An Enormous Plaster Eye

I spy with my enormous eye!
This picture is from Popular Science in 1930 and shows what kind of teaching aids some medical schools were using back then: plaster models. These were made by toy manufacturers in the town of Sonneberg, Germany. Sonneberg had long been known for toy making and there is a toy museum there still.

Anyway, back in 1930, the toy-makers had branched out and were making all sorts of anatomical plaster models. Some were made to scale, like the arms and legs. As for the eyeballs - they were apparently nine inches in diameter, can you imagine?

These remind me a little of the plastic head I had as a child - my dad was a doctor and got it from some pharmaceutical company - that opened up to reveal a plastic brain. You could take out half the brain and see a painted spinal cord and - um, some other stuff. It was the head of an Ancient-Grecian sort of gentleman, but plastic - not plaster. Circa 1973. I don't have the head anymore, sadly, and have no idea where it went.

There are all sorts of ways that medical students study for things like the gp examgp applicationgp recruitment and gpst stage 3 these days - all sorts of ways to teach and present courses and lectures. I wonder if any of them involve large plaster eyeballs? I think that that would really make the students sit up and take extra notice, don't you?

1 comment:

Kath Lockett said...

Kids would LOVE anything gruesome, so those eyeballs would be a brilliant classroom aid.

I used to work in the medical arena in government a few years back, and our medical advisor came in with a yellowish, rubbery thing that was supposed to look and feel like human fat. Now that was definitely something that made me queasy!