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History Preservation Collection Body Parts
Before Papier-Mache
What is Papier-Mache?
Comparative Anatomy
Learning Anatomy in the 20th Century
Photograph of the details of the skeletal, nervous, and circulatory systems
  Details of the skeletal, nervous, and circulatory systems
By the early 20th century, the study of anatomy had moved beyond the domain of medical students and doctors. Schoolchildren learned about anatomy by playing with multilayered male and female paper dolls. Inexpensive plastic anatomical models that could be assembled and painted became popular with students in the 1950s and 1960s. Students today have both the models that were available in the past and modern computer programs that can demonstrate both the structure and functions of the human body.
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Photograph of a female paper doll
  Female paper doll. At right is the cover of the paper doll. Pages lift up to reveal the organs and systems of the human body. About 1920. Gift of Lois Greene Stone.  
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