Service Station for Skeletons (Jun, 1938)

Service Station for Skeletons

Medical-School Specimens Overhauled in Novel Shop

FIRST AID to skeletons! That’s the business of a strange “hospital” in New York City that annually takes apart, cleans, repairs, ana reassembles scores of dusty and damaged skeletons sent in by medical schools where they are used for study and demonstration. After skilled technicians have finished work on the eerie figures they are returned to their owners as good as new!

From the moment they are received at the laboratory, the brittle bones are handled with utmost care. After unwrapping, the specimens are completely dismantled. A special cleaning compound removes dirt and grease without injuring the bones, which are then set aside for several days to dry. Forced drying of any kind is avoided, as an extra precaution against causing damage. Chipped or missing bones are then replaced and fractures are mended.

The work of assembling a complete skeleton requires many special fittings, clamps, and springs. Knees, wrists, elbows, and even fingers are hinged, to duplicate exactly the movements of the human frame. Even the kneecaps are attached with flexible metal supports that work like real human ligaments. A finished skeleton from this strange service station is a realistic re-creation of the framework of the human body.

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