Embryology History - Franklin Mall

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Introduction

Franklin P. Mall (1862-1917) is most remembered for his work done at the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Mall began collecting human embryos while a postgraduate student in Lepzig with Wilhelm His, but didn't receive the first Carnegie specimen until his position at Johns Hopkins University.

Surprizingly age and size proves a poor way to organize embryos. It is very difficult to accurately age an embryo, and it could shrink a full 50% in the preserving fluids. Mall took it upon himself to find a better way. He had more success basing his "staging" scheme on morphological characteristics. To that end, Mall and his colleagues not only prepared and preserved serial sections of the embryos, they also made hundreds of three-dimensional models at different stages of growth. According to Adrianne Noe, who now manages the collection at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Mall gathered the most renowned scientists, scholars, artists, photographers, and craftspeople ever to apply their interests and skills to embryology. One of the first to be hired, in 1913, was modeler Osborne O. Heard, who spent 42 years at the department and made over 700 wax-based reconstructions. The results of this team effort still stand as the international standard by which human embryos are described and classified.

(Above text and information about the collection is modifed from the original Carnegie Institute website)

Links: Carnegie Stages

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, October 24) Embryology Embryology History - Franklin Mall. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Embryology_History_-_Franklin_Mall

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© Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G