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Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory

Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory

This 1933 Chinese health education poster analogizes the human body to an industrial factory, one in a series of images designed to help viewers better understand their own physiology.

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The US National Library of Medicine has a great collection of these strikingly illustrated posters, as well as a second set of posters from 1951. Even without understanding the language, there is a lot to enjoy about the pictorial representations of human anatomy.

Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
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Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
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Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
Illustration for article titled Retro Educational Posters Reimagine The Human Body As A Factory
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Understanding the Human Body [National Library of Medicine via Retronaut]

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DISCUSSION

I know* that Mao supposedly brought the top practitioners of Chinese medicine together at some point and demanded that the (for lack of a better word) "spiritual" side of the medicine bundle be obliterated and replaced with a mechanistic side, which these reflect quite well. (There was no room for religious/spiritual practice in his vision of where to go - faith was to be hosed out of the system because it couldn't be controlled. Every physical reference was supposed to be destroyed.) I just don't exactly know when that was. 1933 was after his influence started, but before he came into full power.

Even so, pretty neat.

*Stories from multiple chinese medicine practitioners over the years.