Vintage Fold-Out Anatomical Diagrams

Manakins - femaleI stopped at an estate sale over the weekend that was taking place just down the street from where I live. I didn’t have anything in particular I wanted to find, so I waited until it was nearly over to see if I could strike some deals. I went in about two hours before it was set to close, and I immediately spotted these vintage anatomical charts being offered for $10. I told the woman it was just weird enough for me to want to buy but… and before I could finish she offered to make it $5 and I was sold. I didn’t even get a good look at them until I got home, but when I did I quickly found it was a great purchase.

Manakins - maleThese charts were originally a supplement to The New Modern Home Physician, which from the little bit I’ve gathered was an encyclopedic home medical reference first offered in 1934 (then called The Modern Home Physician.) I’m not sure when these charts were produced; one listing I saw for them indicated the 1950’s, but I haven’t found a solid reference to back that up. The envelope refers to the charts as “Manakins”, and they feature different layers of the human anatomy that are able to be removed or folded out to reveal different parts of the body. There is one male and one female. Some of the organs fold out individually to reveal other organ that are otherwise obstructed. All in all, they’re very interesting and beautiful charts with a great vintage charm.

Manakins - UterusOne thing I find interesting is how the sexual organs have been censored, and when I say censored, I mean they’re completely ignored. The male is illustrated with a towel wrapped around his waist, and none of his sexual organs are shown, not even in the internal diagrams. The female is shown fully naked, however she has no vulva, and again, none of the sexual organs are shown in any of the internal diagrams. Despite all of this, the female is pregnant, as her uterus contains a fetus (how she became pregnant then is unclear.) I find it odd that such otherwise wonderfully detailed diagrams do not include such an important aspect of our human anatomy, but given the probable era(s) these were produced and the fact that they were targeted at the home market rather then professionals, it may have been considered the proper thing to do then. To me, it seems rather prudish, but then nowadays all of this information is available in explicit detail on the Internet.

I’ve got more photos/scans of the diagrams after the break, and higher-res copies on flickr. If you know anything more about these, please share! I’ve ordered a copy of the book as it sounds interesting as well.

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2013 Garage Sale Bonanza finds

Army footlocker sideThis past weekend marked the 14th annual Garage Sale Bonanza, held at the Saybrook Plaza in Saybrook Township, Ohio.  It’s a large event, including just about everything you’d typically find at a garage sale except clothing.  All of the items sold are donated to the event and it is staffed entirely by volunteers.  Proceeds from the event benefit a variety of local non-profit organizations, including an animal shelter, senior center, clothes closet, transitional housing, cancer support group and several other worthy organizations.  I volunteer at the event each year, organizing, testing and repairing computer equipment and misc. electronics, and every year I also shop the event.  It’s a great place to find parts, tools and other bits and pieces for making things.

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Unsocial Media

SimpleNoteI’ve been quite excited by my recent discovery of SimpleNote, a web app for storing text notes that can sync with client apps on computers and mobile devices.  It’s simple, quick and easy to use.  I’ve been using it to record everything from to-do lists, to vehicle maintenance logs to random thoughts and collected quotes.  Notes can be shared, but I haven’t used any of the sharing options and I don’t expect to.  It’s just a place for me to store bits of information I find important or interesting that I can easily access from anywhere.  Sometimes I use it out of boredom.  I could be waiting for doctor’s appointment, or unable to sleep, and some idea or thought strikes me.  It’s easy to pull out my phone and start tapping out my thoughts in Flick Note and have them synced and available when I’m at my computer later.  This blog post is the result of one such thought, which struck me as I tried to fall asleep a couple nights ago.

That thought is this: that it almost seems strange to have an app on my phone that is dedicated to such introverted activity.  Most of the apps I have are for communication: text messaging, Facebook, Gmail, etc.  That makes sense (as that’s what phones are for) and I like those apps, but many times I’d rather just write out my thoughts and ideas than try to start a conversation with someone or post some boring status update to Facebook.  And that’s what I like about SimpleNote.  I can do that easily no matter where I am now and have access to it everywhere else.  It’s really great.

Social apps are fun, but I’m glad to have a quality “unsocial media” app to give me an outlet for my thoughts that the whole world doesn’t have to see.  It has me thinking that there may be other apps out there that are also fitting for similarly introverted activities.  If I think about it, I might come up with a few, and that could be an interesting list for a future blog post.  Hmmm.  I think I’ll start a list in SimpleNote.