Prenatal Development

A highlight of Your Beginning is the return of Prenatal Development, the Museum's timeless collection of 24 real human embryos and fetuses. Ranging from 28 days to 38 weeks, this timeline vividly captures the amazing stages of growth and development before birth. Originally donated to the Museum in 1939, the collection has been newly interpreted in a darkened gallery to allow for quiet reflection upon Your Beginning.

Background on the Exhibit

Collected in the 1930s by Dr. Helen Button with help from local hospitals, Prenatal Development contains specimens from the difficult times of the Great Depression. To the best of our knowledge, all failed to survive because of accidents or natural causes. Dr. Button obtained the parents’ permission to use these specimens as teaching tools.