Embryology History - Chester Heuser

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Dr Chester Henry Heuser (1885 - 1965)

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Chester H. Heuser
Chester H. Heuser
George Corner
George Corner

Carnegie Institution of Washington Year Book 1952

The following text is a modified excerpt from the year book.[1]

Dr. Chester H. Heuser, who retired on August 31, 1950 after twenty-nine years of continuous service, was appointed a Research Associate, Department Of Embryology Baltimore. During the summer of 1951 he spent two months at the Department of Embryology working on human embryos in preparation for his proposed descriptive catalogue of the earlier stages (i to x) which were not included in the series "Developmental Horizons in Human Embryos" begun by the late Dr. George L. Streeter.

Department of Embryology Baltimore, Maryland George W. Corner, Director

Early Human Embryos - Morphology

During his stay at the laboratory in July and August 1951 Dr. Chester H. Heuser began intensive work on the earliest embryos in the Carnegie Collection, that is to say those of horizons i to x (stage 1 to 10) of the Streeter classification, covering the age span from ovulation to 24 days. The collection now includes 65 specimens within this age span, a large proportion of which were obtained by Dr. Arthur T. Hertig and Dr. John Rock. About 35 of these are normal and well preserved and are therefore suitable for inclusion in the Horizons series which Dr. Heuser is preparing. As reported in recent Year Books, several extremely early embryos have recently been added. From the standpoint of the comparative embryologist a most valuable part of the series is that from 7 to 18 days, when the embryo is securing its attachment to the mother and when it passes through those primitive steps of organization which are common to all vertebrates, including the processes of gastrulation, formation of the amniotic duct, of the allantois, the notochord and chorda canal, etc. Upon such basal embryonic processes the biologist must depend as part of his evidence for determining evolutionary relationships in the animal kingdom. The relatively large number of specimens available in the Collection makes it possible to follow them in man more closely than before.

About 6 early embryos, cut by Dr. Heuser, were added to the available sectioned material. At the instance of Dr. G. W. Bartelmez, about 12 early human embryos, obtained and prepared by him personally during his long connection with the University of Chicago, were donated by the Department of Anatomy of that institution. These embryos, some of which are of presomite age, constitute an important addition to the resources of the Department of Embryology. Several of them are superbly preserved.

Horizons of Human Development

When Dr. George L. Streeter died in 1948, he left unfinished the last five stages of his great series, "Developmental Horizons in Human Embryos." All that was available, with which his colleagues could complete the unfinished portion, was the illustrations and some bundles of notes. Dr. Chester H. Heuser, aided by Dr. Corner, has painstakingly organized and expanded these notes into an article of about the same size and almost the same degree of completeness as those which Dr. Streeter published. The period of development from Streeter's stage xi (23 to 25 days) to the end of the embryonic period, his stage xxiii (46 to 48 days), has now been entirely covered.

As each installment of this series was printed, 500 copies were kept unbound in sheets. With the completion of horizons xi to xxiii the sheets were bound up into a special volume and provided with an explanatory preface by Dr. Corner. This book, entitled Developmental Horizons in Human Embryos: Age Groups XI to XXIII[2], and designated as Embryology Reprint Volume II, is available through the Office of Publications of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Pregnancy in the Baboon

Mention was made in Year Book No. 50 of a study of the early embryology of the baboon, Papio ur sinus. This research (which will be reported by Dr. Christine Gilbert and Dr. C. H. Heuser in volume 35 of the Contributions to Embryology) resulted from a co-operative enterprise under the direction of Dr. Joseph Gillman, Research Associate of the Carnegie Institution, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Financial support which enabled Dr. Gillman to initiate long-term observation and experiments on the development and gestation of the baboon was provided by grants from the Carnegie Institution through the Department of Embryology. Dr. Gilbert's stay of a year at the laboratory as Fellow of the Carnegie Institution of Washington is mentioned above.


  1. Carnegie Institution of Washington Year Book No. 51. Carnegie Institution Of Washington Washington, D. C. 1952
  2. Heuser, CH., and Corner, GW. 1957 Developmental horizons in human embryos. Description of age group X, 4 to 12 somites Carnegie Instn Wash Publ 611, Contrib. Embryol., 36, 29-39.

Selected References

Heuser CH. The development of the cerebral ventricles in the pig. (1913) Amer. J Anat. 15(2): 215-251.

Heuser, CH. 1923. The branchial vessels and their derivatives in the pig, Carnegie Contr Embryol 15:121-139.

Heuser CH. A human embryo with 14 pairs of somites. (1930) Carnegie Instn. Wash. Publ. 414, Contrib. Embryol., Carnegie Inst. Wash. 22:135-153.

Heuser CH. An intrachorionic mesothelial membrane in young stages of the monkey (Macacus rhesus). (1932) Anat. Rec, 52, Suppl., 15-16.

Heuser CH. A presomite human embryo with a definite chorda canal. (1932) Carnegie Instn. Wash. Publ. 433, Contrib. Embryol., 23, 251-267.

Heuser CH. Early development of the primitive mesoblast in embryos of the rhesus monkey. (1938) Carnegie Inst. (Publ. 501), Cooperation in Research 383-88.

Heuser CH. Monozygotic twin human embryos with an estimated ovulation age of 17 days. (1954) Anat. Rec., 118: 310.

Heuser CH. A human ovum with an estimated ovulation age of about nine days. (1956) Anat. Rec., 124: 459.

Heuser CH. and Corner GW. Developmental horizons in human embryos. Description of age group X, 4 to 12 somites. (1957) Carnegie Instn Wash Publ 611, Contrib. Embryol., 36: 29-39.

Heuser CH. Rock J. and Hertig AT. Two human embryos showing early stages of the definitive yolk sac. (1945) Contrib. Embryol., Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 557, 31: 85-99.

Heuser CH. and Streeter GL. Early stages in the development of pig embryos, from the period of initial cleavage to the time of the appearance of limb-buds. (1929) Contrib. Embryol., Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 394, 20: 1-29.

Heuser CH. and Streeter GL. Development of the macaque embryo. (1941) Contrib. Embryol., Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. 525, 29: 15-55.

Heard OO. Methods used by C. H. Heuser in preparing and sectioning early embryos. (1957.) Carnegie Instn. Wash. Publ. 611, Contrib. Embryol., 36, 1-18.

Streeter GL. Developmental horizons in human embryos. Description of age groups XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, and XXIII, being the fifth issue of a survey of the Carnegie Collection (prepared for publication by Heuser CH. and Corner GW.). (1951) Carnegie Instn. Wash. Publ. 592, Contrib. Embryol., 34: 165-196.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, April 23) Embryology Embryology History - Chester Heuser. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_Chester_Heuser

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