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Icons of LifeA Cultural History of Human Embryos$
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Lynn Morgan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260436

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260436.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 June 2020

Building a Collection

Building a Collection

(p.58) Three Building a Collection
Icons of Life

Lynn M. Morgan

University of California Press

This chapter describes how embryologists built the professional relationships that gave them exclusive access to the precious specimens located within women's bodily realms, and how they devised mechanisms for acquiring, exchanging, labeling, and handling specimens. The embryologists worked hard to convince women that doctor-experts held the most accurate knowledge about pregnancy, and that “superstitions” about fetal development had no place in a modern woman's thoughts. During the mid-twentieth century, the exchange of embryo specimens was widespread among health professionals who solidified their social networks through the exchange of embryo specimens, as was evident in the hundreds of specimens donated by alumnae and friends of Mount Holyoke College from 1917 through the 1950s.

Keywords:   embryologists, human embryos, women, Mount Holyoke College

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