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On the Trail of the "Machine," Part 2: The Lady Vanishes

Last week, I discussed the unusual nature of William Smellie's "celebrated apparatus," or mechanized obstetrical phantom. Today, I will continue with part two, where I give contemporary physician Peter Camper's laudatory description--and discuss the woman-machine's vanishing act. --Brandy Schillace ________________________________________ After attending Smellie’s lectures, he described the “contraction of both the internal and external os, the generation of water in parturition and dilatation of the os uteri are so natural that hardly any difference is to be noticed between these, and those in natural women.” From Camper, a physician and surgeon certainly aware of actual anatomy, such a claim is...

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