Thursday, October 17, 2019

British Pathé - Plastic Skeletons ( 1965 )

Ever wondered how your body is structured? If you were curious enough, you've probably examined a model of the human skeletal system. Medical students need to look at skeleton models in detail to understand how the body moves the way it does.....and that is where plastic skeletons come in handy. 

This 2-minute British Pathé newsreel from 1965 shows how these boney figures are made. At 36 pounds per skeleton, they were quite costly but you can see that they were assembled one bone at a time....quite a laborious task! 

Prior to the development of plastic, real human skeletons were used....which, of course, were even more costly to obtain. Surprisingly, the narrator mentions that most of the human skeletons that students use to view came from the Middle East but ever since countries made restrictions about shipping out human bones, the sales of these plastic skeletons have increased. 

Today, most skeletons are made in China from PVC plastic but they are receiving competition from India, where they can be obtained for $250-$500 and are much more accurate. Want to pick a bone about that? This interesting article claims that many medical students are not even satisfied with these models and are once again obtaining real human bones from gravediggers.

Click here to view Plastic Skeletons ( 1965 ) 

Similarly-themed British Pathé newsreels: 

Skeletons ( 1953 ) - 1:04 minutes

Skeleton Staff ( 1963 ) - 2:34 minutes

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