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DATE: 1936

LENGTH: 35 min [edited from full length of 69 minutes]

CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Sound, Black & White, Clinical & Surgical

DIRECTOR: Joseph B. DeLee, M.D.

PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: Joseph B. DeLee, M.D., M. Edward Davis, M.D., Fox Movietone Scientific

Warning: The film contains explicit images of disease or intrusive medical treatment. Viewer discretion advised.


Dr. Joseph Bolivar DeLee, a founder in the late 1890s of the Chicago Lying-In Dispensary (for needy women) as well as the Chicago Lying-In Hospital, the model maternity center of its day, was at times called “the #1 obstetrician, USA.” DeLee also was a serious filmmaker dedicated to the visual explication of his obstetrical techniques. He acquired professional equipment, wrote scripts, improvised sound effects, and deployed as many as a dozen women over a period of hours and days if necessary to complete a movie precisely as he felt it should be. These films were intended to teach, persuade, and fundraise for the next one….Read the Essay

View another film featured in the essay.

The Science and Art of Obstetrics: The Forceps Operation and Episiotomy RepairAnatomical Illustration

DATE: 1934
LENGTH: 36 min [edited from full length of 64 minutes]
PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: Chicago Lying-In Hospital
CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Clinical & Surgical, Sound, Black & White

Supplementary Materials

Film Stills from The Science and Art of Obstetrics: Laparotrachelotomy: Low Cervical Cesarean

In the Collections of the National Library of Medicine

NLM Historical Audiovisuals Collection

Explore digitized films on obstetrics in the NLM Digital Collections

A newborn wrapped in blankets.

NLM Prints & Photographs Collection

NLM Rare Book Collection

Meddlesome Midwifery in Renaissance, by Joseph B. DeLee, ca. 1916

Joseph B. DeLee, A Eulogy” in Mother’s Aid of the Chicago Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary, April, 1942

Preliminary Report of a Case of Caesarean Section, Successful for Mother and Child, by Joseph B. DeLee, 1896
View in NLM Digital Collections

First page of a reprint with library annotations and stamps.

Related Resources from the National Library of Medicine

Joseph DeLee in PubMed Central

Obituary, in Br Med J. 1942 Jun 6; 1(4248): 711.
Joseph B. DeLee and the practice of preventive obstetrics, in Am J Public Health. 1988 October; 78(10): 1353–1361.
More in PMC…

MedlinePlus Consumer Health Information

When might forceps or a caesarean section be used today?
How are childbirth complications handled?

External Resources

Articles and Websites

Learn more about the Chicago Lying-In Hospital founded by Joseph B. DeLee.
Explore a finding aid for the archival records of the Chicago Lying-in Hospital held at the University of Chicago.

More Medicine on Screen

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