The Mütter Museum

Of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Part II

Reported June 18, 2003 et seq.

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  1. Spinal apparatus for furnishing elastic extension and motion.
  2. Kyphosis of the spine.
  3. Sagittal section.


  1. Fracture of the middle third of the left femur from a conoidal musket ball. Union of the fracture made with a slight shortening of the leg. Patient was wounded in the assault on Fort Steadman, March 25, 1865.
  2. Foetal skeletons.
  3. Lymphatics of the neck.


  1. Hydrocephalus (skull circumference 70.5 cm or 27 3/4 in).
  2. Hydrocephalus (skull circumference 70.5 cm or 27 3/4 in) (close-up).
  3. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). A rare case where bone forms outside of the skeleton.


The late Thomas Biddle spent much of his adult life in Ecuador doing "his God-given best to convert unbelievers and their rascal-like children to the teachings of The Lord." For the better part of the early 1900s, Biddle concentrated almost all of his proselytizing efforts on the Jivaro tribe of eastern Ecuador, who were "infamous in everything and surely doomed to fry in hell for their silly scorn of the Jesus-like faces of their rightfully despised European trading masters."

Though Biddle loathed the Jivaro practice of shrinking human heads (tsantsas), he was rightfully amused that his 'converts' finally restricted this particular 'torment' to the Caucasian traders who took unfair advantage of the 'receptive friendliness' of the local Jivaro ('un-called-for') women.

This particular specimen was prepared(*) for the tourist trade.


(*) Standard 'shrunken skull' preparation in 1930's Ecuador involved a 'gentle' decapitation, soft tissue and gristle removal by hot water-assisted scraping and poking, the careful emplacement of super-steamed lava rocks through the 'neckal' cavity, pig-gut suture of head orifices and ... most important ... the constant monitoring of the off-bone flesh and rind condition throughout the 16 hour process.


In 2000 Max Aguilera-Hellweg photographed this skeleton of an eight-month old with anencephaly and spina bifida.


  1. Molluscum sebaceum.
  2. Spiegel-Wycis stereoencephalotome, Model II.
  3. Miscarriage


  1. Conjoined twins, known as ischiopagus tripus (three legs).
  2. Foetus stained with alizarin and preserved in glycerin.
  3. Teeth from Leopoldine Solar.


  1. Brain with spindle-celled sarcoma.
  2. Varicose veins of the scalp.
  3. Placenta of twins.


  1. Triplets.
  2. Coronal section of the head.
  3. The "improved" leucotome ... for transorbital lobotomies.


  1. Dried hand.
  2. Paget's disease ... Osteitis Deformans.
  3. The case of George Gangre ... polyarthritis of smaller joints.


  1. Coronal section of face.


See also: Mütter Page 1

Mütter Museum book available at amazon.com.

More to come ...


More Unusual Features:

See also The Secret of Kinloch Castle

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