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The Human Body in Pictures: The Blood Vessels and Their Functions View in NLM Digital Collections
1925 / 13:00
Directed by Jacob Sarnoff
Produced by Bray Productions, Educational & Social Service
Silent, black-and-white.

The Blood Vessels and Their Functions is one reel of a six-reel series, The Human Body in Pictures. Brooklyn surgeon Jacob Sarnoff (1886–1961) produced this movie atlas of the human body between 1920 and 1924. Sold alongside a textbook and slides, the series was designed as an educational tool for physicians-in-training. For The Blood Vessels and Their Function, he attempted a cinematic first: to dramatize the workings of the heart, he removed the veins from a day-old infant, mounted them on a board, and devised an air-pumping system—which he termed “Pneumo-Viscera”—to push air through the circulatory system.

“Stronger and Whiter Light Down Deeper and Darker Holes”: Jacob Sarnoff and the Strange World of Anatomical Filmmaking
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