Anatomical Model of the Ear

Physics

Accession Number: 2010.ph.351

Description:

Large detailed replica of an ear made from papier-mâché. Surface detail includes blood vessels and circulation patterns. Each component of the ear is discretely labelled, often with numbers.

This object consists of five components, tagged as 2010.ph.351.a,b,c,d,e, some of which include additional divisions. Pictures of the components are shown in the order in which they are described.

Component a: This piece is the outer ear portion of the Papier-mâché model. It has no further divisions. It provides a detail of the ear lobe, including blood vessels and blood circulation areas. There are two metal pins on the relative ‘back’ of the piece to facilitate its attachment to component b.

Component b: This piece is the largest single component of the papier-mâché ear model, consisting of an enclosure of the inner ear. It attaches directly to component a via two pin holes located on the “outside” of this piece. Raised blood vessels make up the surface detail, and red paint indicates areas of blood flow.

Component c: This piece is a smaller ‘cap’ that attaches to the largest component (b). Together they form the total enclosure of the smaller inner ear pieces of the Papier-mâché model of the ear. This piece can be secured to the larger part with two small metal pins that protrude from either end of it, as well as a pivoting latch that is near one of the pins. As per the rest of the model, surface details include raised blood vessels as well as blood circulation patterns. This piece is largely hollow on the inside, allowing the smaller parts of the ear to be nestled inside when closed.

Component d: This piece is an interior component of the Papier-mâché ear model. It consists of three smaller pieces that fit together to form a cohesive whole. The largest piece is a large pretzel-shaped twist. One side of the “pretzel” is cut away to reveal the interior. In this cavity, a removable ring fits into the loop. The ring appears brittle and in poor condition. This piece slots into another piece, that along with the third and final piece form a round shell shape. These pieces have less raised surface detail than the other parts of the model, but somewhat more vivid and preserved colours.

Component e: This piece is a Papier-mâché representation of the tympanic membrane of the ear. It consists of a single small circular piece with a y-shaped projection that sits above the membrane surface. The membrane itself is labelled “Membrane du tympan” and is composed of a thin translucent paper. On the outside of the membrane red paint details the blood vessels. On the inside of the membrane there is a thin white piece labeled “Corde du -“.

Alternative Name: Auzoux Model of the Ear

Primary Materials: Papier-mâché

Markings:

There are a number of labels and markings on all components of the model. While many of these labels are merely numbers, there are some non-numeric labels as well, written in French. Many of the labels have been scratched away and are obscured.

Dimensions (cm): Height = 20, Width = 22, Length = 40

Function:

This model was used by the Physics department as part of its acoustical program. It was used to demonstrate the manner by which the human ear functions.

Condition:

Good-to-moderate: much of the paint is cracked and peeling. Many of the labels have peeled off or are otherwise obscured. The ring in component d appears brittle and is in poor condition. The tympanic membrane’s thin, translucent paper is torn and frayed, and is somewhat detached from the outer ring that supports it.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Auzoux, Paris, France

Date of Manufacture: Late 19th century

Provenance:

Acquired from the Physics Department, University of Toronto.

Historical Notes:

Purchased for a month-long series of acoustical lectures at the Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science held by James Loudon and Rudolph Koenig in September. 1880.