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Public History Grad Student Contributes to TV Segment on the Mütter Museum

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In July 2014 the Mütter Museum, a distinguished medical history museum in Philadelphia, PA, received an unusual visitor.

Mike Rowe and a team from his new TV series Somebody’s Gotta Do It—a CNN original that “[pays] tribute to innovators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs, collectors, fanatics” and people “who simply have to do it”—stopped by to learn a little something about the mysteries of human body and the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Anna Dhody, the Curator of the Museum, guided Mike Rowe around the Mütter. One of the exhibits Rowe visited on his guided tour was the Cast and Livers of Chang and Eng Bunker, the conjoined twins from Thailand who, in 1811, came to the United States and eventually settled in North Carolina. After learning about the lives of Chang and Eng, including the fact that they had 21 kids between them, and seeing their preserved conjoined liver, Rowe crouched on the floor and exclaimed, “I’m a ball of horror.”

Mike Rowe’s visit to the Mütter Museum was featured in Season 1, Episode 7 of Sombody’s Gotta Do It, which originally aired on December 10, 2014.

Rebecca Lowe, a second year Public History Masters student at North Carolina State University, was an intern at the Mütter while the show was being filmed. Rebecca and other museum staff assisted Rowe in experiencing the best – and some of the strangest – things the museum has to offer.

While Rowe’s visit was certainly a highlight of her internship, Rebecca had other many experiences at the Mütter that made for an exciting summer. From cleaning skulls and attempting to insert fake teeth for display to holding a brain, Rebecca notes that Mütter offered her a truly “hands on” experience.

All graduate students in the Public History program at North Carolina State University complete an internship in their own areas of interest – including the administration of historic sites, museums, preservation, or historical publications.

Rowe 2

Museum Curator Anna Dhody tells Mike Rowe about the medical anomaly of conjoined twins while viewing the exhibit Cast and Livers of Chang and Eng Bunker

Mike Rowe

Second year Public History Masters student Rebecca Lowe (left) and Museum Curator Anna Dhody (right) hold Mike Rowe’s head as he climbs into an iron lung while the museum staff informs him about the polio outbreak of the 1950s

Behind the Scenes with Rebecca Lowe

Rebecca and Mike

Rebecca Lowe (left) & Mike Rowe (right)

Watch the trailer of Season 1 Episode 7 of ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do it’ with Mike Rowe featuring the Mütter Museum or watch the full episode through CNN Go. (You must log in with your cable provider information to access the full episode online).

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