Who is “Resuscitation Annie”?
Resuscitation Annie is not a singular doll, but rather she is a specific model of a medical doll used in various training sessions for proper CPR technique. Annie has been on the market since the 1950s and while she was not the only doll on the market, she quickly became the most popular earning her the title of “the most kissed lips in history.”
Ok…the story is a bit creepy
The exact history of Resuscitation Annie is up for debate but the story of this mystery woman begins approximately 150 years ago. After a young woman’s remains washed up on the shores of the River Seine, A common practice in those days when a body was unable to be immediately identified, was to put the body on public display at the local morgue in hopes of finding someone who would be able to identify them. While she was estimated to be around 16 years old, no proper identification was ever able to be made for the young woman. However, her serene appearance in death led her to become somewhat of a local celebrity. The mortician was reportedly so infatuated with her appearance, that he made a plaster cast out of her face and sold it as a souvenir in shops around Paris. This unidentified girl had become a local, cultural icon.
Annie in the Medical Field
In the 1940s a famous toymaker from Norway, Asmund Laerdal, teamed up with doctors to produce a realistic medical doll to facilitate the teaching of CPR to students. Laerdal was inspired to use the face of a mask he had seen hanging in his in-law’s home. The same mask that was modeled after the young woman who drowned in Paris. Doctors liked this idea as they thought using a female model would make male students less reluctant to practice on it. To this day, Resuscitation Annie continues to be used in the medical field. She even has “offspring” dolls such as “Resuscitation Andy” and “Baby Annie” to teach CPR techniques for different body types and ages. Though the identity of the young woman still remains a mystery, she has helped revolutionize modern medicine.