Transparent Anatomical Mannequin
Valeda stands on a revolving pedestal in a small auditorium at the Kansas Learning Center for Health where thousands of visitors have heard her describe the human body as various organs light up. Valeda was assembled bit by intricate bit. The original mold was made by completely coating the body of a living, 28-year-old German woman with a rubber composition. This was allowed to harden, then peeled off to form the mold for Valeda’s plastic skin. Her aluminum skeleton is situated exactly as it is in the normal human body.
Tucked inside are plastic replicas of internal organs, all anatomically correct and lighted with tiny bulbs. One surprise to many is the small size of the gall bladder. Actually only about one third of it shows, the remainder is behind the liver.
Coiling and branching just under the plastic skin is her network of arteries and veins, made of red and blue coated wire. Valeda has 6 1/4 miles of wire to represent the circulatory system; however, the real human body has over 60,000 miles of veins and arteries. You can see why she could not show them all.
Green wires on the left side of her model represent the lymphatic system. The nervous system is depicted on the right. Only the largest portions of these systems is shown since they comprise so dense a network we would be unable to see through to the organs.
Hinsdale Health Museum, near Chicago, had a contest to name their transparent woman and finally chose “Valeda I”. Some of the amusing suggestions were Claire D’Illume, Lucid Lil, and Cassie the Lassie with the Glassy Chassis. Our transparent woman is Valeda III. “Valeda” is coined from the word valid, which means strong and healthy.
Valeda is the physical prototype of all women. She stands 5’7” and, if alive, would weigh around 145 lbs. The total model actually weighs 98 lbs. At an original cost of $14,105.00 in 1965, Valeda has proved that the human body is indeed a marvelously created machine.