Asmund S. Laerdal, innovator and founder of Laerdal Medical AS started the company in the 1940's as a small publishing house, specializing in greetings cards and children's books. The company soon expanded into the manufacturing of wooden toys. Pioneering in soft plastics in the early 50's, Laerdal made millions of realistic play dolls and "furniture friendly" toy cars. During the late 1950's, Asmund would create the first CPR manikin.
At the turn of the 19th century, the body of a young girl was pulled from the River Seine in Paris. There was no evidence of violence and it was assumed she had taken her own life. Because her identity could not be established, a death mask was made; this was customary in such cases. The young girl’s delicate beauty and ethereal smile added to the enigma of her death. Generations later, the girl from the River Seine was brought back to life when Asmund began the development of a realistic and effective training aid to teach mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Moved by the story of the girl so tragically taken by early death, he adopted her mask for the face of his new resuscitation-training manikin, Resusci-Anne. He was convinced that if such a manikin was life-sized and life-like, students would be better motivated to learn this lifesaving procedure. Since then, manikins have continued to advance and are used for a wide variety of training purposes such as advanced airway placement and IV therapy.
So now you know where these little bundles of joy come from, come meet one in person by signing up for a training course at your local American Red Cross. It’s the only time you are guaranteed a kiss on the first date so what have you got to lose?