Snip from a New York Times piece by John Schwartz on a new online archive of stereoscopic human anatomy images, produced in the early 1960s:
[David L. Bassett] was an expert in anatomy and dissection at the University of Washington. For more than 17 years, he was engaged in creating what has been called the most painstaking and detailed set of images of the human body, inside and out, ever produced. In 3-D.
Working closely with William Gruber, the inventor of the View-Master, the three-dimensional viewing system that GAF Corporation popularized as a toy in the 1960s, Dr. Bassett created the 25-volume "Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy" in 1962. It included some 1,500 pairs of slides, along with line drawings that made the details more discernible. The paired slides could be examined with a View-Master, making the chest cavity look cavernous, and making details of structure and tissue stand out unforgettably.
The atlas was an immediate success and the images became an important resource for medical students, even more so as schools have de-emphasized gross anatomy and cadaver work. But the atlas eventually went out of publication in the 1960s.
A months' worth of web access to the "head and neck collection" is eight bucks; so far, all the other body parts are not yet online. I don't understand the pricing structure, or why they bother charging for access at all — but, (shrugs), the content sure is wonderful.
Previously on BB:
• Incredible human dissection photos on Flickr Link