Natural History & Taxidermy Antiques
19th C Didactic Wooden "Babymachine" Obstetrician's model, designed and manufactured by F. Mathieu.
This Wooden Model is considered to be the second generation of a "Madame Du Coudray's Babymachine", a mannequin for teaching obstetrics, invented in the 18th C by a midwife determined to combat the ignorance of country midwives who endangered the lives of women and children. Madame Du Coudray spent twenty-five years travelling the towns and cities of France, teaching her methods and selling her ingenious "Babymachine".
Only one example of the original machine, patented in 1778, survived and is on display in the museum of Flaubert and the History of Medicine, in Rouen. It includes a life-size mannequin representing the lower part of the female body, a doll the size of a new-born baby, and various accessories demonstrating female anatomy, a seven-months foetus, twins, etc.
During the first half of the 19 th C the Parisian Manufacturer Mathieu introduced the wooden version. Because of its weight and rigidity it was soon replaced by Dr.Auzoux's Papier Mâché Models. From the start of the 20 th C. schools started to use plastic models.
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