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William Harvey and the circulation of the blood.

  • Dale, Henry H. 1875-1968.
  • Film

About this work


The first edition of one of the most notable films in the history of medical and scientific film (subsequent editions; 1957, 1971-72, 1978), made to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Harvey's "Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cardis et Sanguinis" (1628). Against the historical background of classical Galenic and Renaissance cardio-vascular anatomy and physiology, Henry dale re-enacts Harvey's physiological experiments demonstrating the circualtion of the blood in animals and man, while the captions re-trace Harvey's experimental reasoning as given in Robert Willis' 1847 translation of "De Motu Cordis". A fascinating demonstration of experimental-physiological method, and an extremley powerful affirmation of historical continuity in the research methods of modern medical science, symbolized by the famous trompe d'oeil fusion of Henry Dale's and Harvey's hands in the opening and closing frames.


UK : [publisher not identified], 1928.

Physical description

3 35mm negative film reels (31 min. total) : silent, black and white


Originally released 1928 on cinefilm.
Copy [formerly the property of the late Lady Lewis] given to Wellcome Trust by Dr. C.J. Lawrence (W.I.H.M.) in October 1990. Copies of Dale and Lewis' 1928 synopsis of the film's contents available.
See Christopher Lawrence, "Cinema Verite? The Image of William Harvey's Experiments in 1628", N. Rupke (Ed.), "Vivisection in Historical Perspective" (London, New York and Sydney; Croon Helm, 1987), pp.295-313; "The ancient art of peer review", New Scientist, 4 January 1992, pp.39.

Creator/production credits

Henry Dale and Sir Thomas Lewis for the Royal College of Physicians of London.

Copyright note

Wellcome Trust.



  • English

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