The art of anatomic filmmaking
What would possess someone to mount an infant’s veins on a board and inflate them with air?
The Blood Vessels and Their Functions is one reel of a six-reel series, The Human Body in Pictures. Brooklyn surgeon Jacob Sarnoff (1886–1961) produced this movie atlas of the #human_body between 1920 and 1924. Sold alongside a textbook and slides, the series was designed as an education tool for physicians-in-training. For The Blood Vessels and Their Function, he attempted a cinematic first: to dramatize the workings of the heart, he removed the veins from a day-old infant, mounted them on a board, and devised an air-pumping system — which he termed “Pneumo-Viscera” — to push air through the circulatory system