Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Factory Within the Human Body

This is my favourite illustration from The Miracle of Life (1941). When I was very small, it provided me with a name for the book: "the whirl, whirl, whirl down into the butt book" - a butt, in those days, in the UK, being a wooden barrel of the kind you can clearly see at the bottom of the picture. It strikes me now that in fact the "filtering coils" first empty into the dustbin. I also love the caption, which describes this representation of the torso as "suited to an essentially mechanical age":

Click on image to enlarge.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Love it. It is years since I saw this diagram - I remember how you used to love it when you were small and I find it just as good now- a super way to introduce kids to the workings of the body I think.

chris said...

I've never seen this and wow how clever. Imagine how the Inspector (at the pyloric valve) is tireless, in marxian terms, a sort of ever-useful use value kind of laborer. In bureaucratic governmental (political terms), proving the point of necessity for an 'inspector'-ship, a disciplinarian situated as automaton way beyond the brain/mind. Fascinating the spin-offs, is my point. Thanks for this!