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From the tiniest veins, arteries and nerves to serial cross-sections of the spinal cord, these incredibly detailed

dissections show and label most every part of the human body. The collection is the product of a 17-year
collaboration between David L. Bassett, a School of Medicine alumnus and faculty member known for his elegant
dissections and love for the human body, and William Gruber, the photographer who invented the View-Master
stereoscopic viewing device. The partnership between the two resulted in the production of the Stereoscopic Atlas
of Human Anatomy, which began in 1948, but was not not completed until 1962. It consisted of 221 View-Master
reels with 1,554 color stereo views of dissections of every body region. Each stereo view was accompanied by a
black-and-white, labeled drawing and explanatory text. A courtesy the Lane Medical Archives (thanks Drew!), today
we present you some of the most impressive pictures of The Basset Collection. Meet the Human Body.

A deep dissection of the side of the

head shows the many blood vessels
(red arteries, blue veins) and nerves
(graying white) in the facial region.
The hole is the external ear canal.
The temporal muscle, used for
chewing, is the prominent fan shaped
muscle on the side of skull, behind
the mouth and above the jaw.

After the removal of an outer layer of

bones around the jaw, the dissection
shows blood vessels and sensory
nerves to the lower teeth and chin.

The onion-like structure is an eye,

seen from above with the bony roof
of the eye socket removed. The
profusion of blood vessels and the
muscles that rotate the eye are

A pelvis from a woman, right, is

lighter and wider than that of a man,
left. The wider angle of a woman's
pubic bones at the base of the pelvis
allows birthing of a baby.

Removal of the skin and the layer of

tough tissue beneath it, the palmar
fascia, reveals a complex
arrangement of blood vessels and
nerves in the hand and wrist.

This dissection of the kidneys was

done after red latex was injected into
the arteries and blue latex into the

With all layers of the skin removed

on the left side of the head and neck,
the dissection displays the blood
vessels and nerves of the scalp,
almost all of which come from the
periphery, not through the skull.
Colored latex was injected into the
blood vessels: red for arteries, blue
for veins. The structures in the neck
remain covered by a tough layer of
tissue known as the cervical fascia.

Inside the vertebral column, cut in

half vertically, is a channel for the
spinal nerves. The brown material is
the bones; the white material is the
intervertral disks that sometimes
"rupture," causing back pain. A
horizontal split has been made on the
left to show the connection of the
sacrum, a triangular bone at the base
of the spine, to the pelvis.

This view of the wrist joint features

the two rows of four carpal bones
each and shows how they are
connected to the bones of the
forearm and the fingers.

A dissection of the leg and the foot

displays the long tendons connected
to the toes, and the blood vessels
and nerves to the top of the foot.

This dissection of the backbone was

performed by Donald Stilwell,
another Stanford professor, for the
Bassett atlas. Note the profusion of
arterial blood vessels nourishing the
vertebral area of the neck and chest
area. Also, at the top, the ends of the
vertebral arteries, which pass into
the skull to nourish the brain.

The mediastinum, a central chest

compartment located between the
lungs, houses the heart. Immediately
to the right of the heart is the aorta,
the largest artery of the body. To the
right of the aorta are groups of blood
vessels (one artery and two
companion veins) that run between
the ribs to distribute blood through
the body. The phrenic nerve, which
sends messages to the diaphragm to
breath, is visible as it crosses the
heart vertically.

Dissection of the meninges and brain

in situ. On the right the calvaria and
layers of the scalp are shown in
relation to the dura. On the left the
dura has been cut away to reveal the
cerebral hemisphere and cerebellum
covered with the arachnoid
membrane. The confluence of the
sinuses is shown.

The sclera and cornea have been cut

away on the medial side of a right
eye to display the anterior chamber,
iris, ciliary body and outer surface of
the choroid. Although none of the
vessels has been injected, the
branches of the superior and inferior
medial vorticose veins are clearly
visible. The long posterior ciliary
artery was cut across in the resection
of the sclera but its course can be
traced nearly to the ciliary body.

On this dissection of the heart, the

epicardium has been removed from
all parts of the atria with the
exception of the left auricle

Dissection of lungs in situ. The lungs

have been dissected from their
medial surfaces and are reflected
laterally for this image. Fragmentary
portions of all of the chambers of the
heart have been preserved. The great
vessels have been kept intact,
although the aorta and pulmonary
trunk have been elevated to expose
more posterior parts of the heart.

The cervical spinal cord. By removing

the rear arches of the neck (cervical)
vertebra and the fibrous covering
(dura) over the spinal cord one sees
the cervical spinal cord and its
nerves. The blood vessels nourishing
the cord and vertebral column and
the origin of the cord from the brain
are clearly shown.

Dissection of thorax from a posterior

approach. Ribs and vertebral bodies
have been resected bilaterally
between the second and the ninth
thoracic segments. The periosteum
which covered the inner surfaces of
the ribs have been preserved in most
areas. The anterior longitudinal
ligament, with remnants of the
intervertebral discs attached, has
also been retained in part. The lungs
have been inflated and are visible
through the intact costal pleura. The
proximal parts of the III-VII spinal
nerves have been positioned on the
pleura in such a way that their dorsal
and ventral roots, dorsal rami and
communications with the
sympathetic trunks are visible. These
components are labeled for the left
seventh thoracic nerve. The
intercostal arteries and veins have
been cut off in various ways.

The knee joint opened from the front

shows the inner surface of the knee
cap or patella within its large
ligament which is folded downward
and forward. The ear shaped
cartilages lie on the surface of the
joint floor formed by the tibia.
Between the cartilages one sees the
cut ends of the cruciate ligaments so
often injured in athletics and
frequently reconstructed surgically.

The Jawbone. The masseter muscle

of mastication reflected back to
expose the jawbone (mandible) and
the related vessels, nerves and