Behold, an X-ray of Hitler's head

You're looking at one of five known X-rays of Hitler's head. The radiograph is just one of 17-million rare, intriguing, and often-bizarre items housed in the the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library on Earth. We've got a gallery.

This particular image is part of a larger medical dossier on Hitler that was assembled by U.S. military intelligence following World War II, and one of the 450 images featured in Hidden Treasurea book published yesterday in observance of the National Library of Medicine's 175th anniversary.


If you're even remotely interested in historical science and/or medical oddities, it looks like you'll really enjoy this volume (if you're familiar with Philadelphia's Mütter Museum, you'll find Hidden Treasures's subject matter to be in a similar vein). Over on Wired, Betsy Mason has put together a great gallery of some standout items from the book, including the image up top. You'll find the complete gallery here, but we've included a few selections below to give you a taste of the awesome medical weirdness that await you.

All captions adapted from the book by Mason


Hitler as Seen by His Doctors, 1945 – 46

Military Intelligence Service Center, United States Army, European Theater
This is one of five known X-rays of Hitler's head, part of his medical records compiled by American military intelligence after the German's surrendered and declassified in 1958. The records also include doctor's reports, diagrams of his teeth and nose and electrocardiograms.


Atlas of Topographic Anatomy, 1911

Eugène-Louis Doyen with J.-P. Bouchon and R. Doyen; heliotypes by E. Le Deley
This amazing book is filled with photographs of human bodies that had been scientifically mummified and then sawed into slices to reveal the anatomy within. The process, which Parisian surgeon Eugène-Louis Doyen dubbed megatomy, was a radical departure from existing anatomical studies. His work was a precursor to today's popular Body Worlds exhibitions of plastinated slices of human cadavers, though Doyen's attempts to publicly present images of his anatomical slices were met with protests.


The Anatomy of the Human Body, 1386; copied mid-1400s

Mansur ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Yusuf ibn Ilyas
The skeleton depicted... from this early book of anatomy is viewed from the back with the head hyperextended so that the mouth is at the top of the page - a posture suggestive of a dissection table. Squatting figures such as this were the dominant model for anatomical illustration in the Islamic world until the introduction of European models.


White's Physiological Manikin, 1886

James T. White & Co.
This life-sized fold-out model of the human body was marketed for at least 20 years. The manikin's flaps correspond to lecture topics such as the circulatory system, the brain and nervous system, the skeleton and muscles, venereal disease and the physiology of reproduction (male and female), first aid, and the dangers of corseting (visible in the far right).


[Hidden Treasure via Wired]

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