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Fun Facts About Mannequins

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Mannequin Means 'An Artist's Jointed Model'

According to Wikipedia, the word "mannequin" is derived from the French language meaning ""an artist's jointed model." Before it was added to the French language, however, it came from the Flemish word "manneken," which means "little man, figurine." Of course, when people today use the word, they are usually describing either an actual person or lifelike display that's used to present clothes or accessories.

Mannequins Were First Used in The 15th Century

Think mannequins are a relatively new concept? Guess again. While no one knows who exactly is responsible for creating the world's first mannequin, historians believe they appeared during the 15th century, a time when small, miniature-sized mannequins were used to display fashion garments and accessories to shoppers. They were an instant hit among business owners and shoppers alike, boosting sales while enhancing the shopping experience. Since then, the craze has continued, with mannequins being used across the country for a wide variety of purposes.

Wickerwork Mannequins

You might be surprised to learn that some of the earliest mannequins were made plant stalks and branches that were woven together (AKA wicker). These "wickerwork" mannequins become increasingly popular during the 19th century, with some museums being set up to showcase them. Wickerwork mannequins were eventually replaced with mannequins made of more practical materials, such as plastic and plastic synthetic blends.

Mannequins are Used for CPR Training

CPR instructors often use mannequins to help teach students the correct way to perform life-saving resuscitation. These mannequins are usually softer, allowing the chest to compress up and down during the CPR chest presses. In fact, there are even some mannequins which are designed specifically for CPR training.

Mannequins Were Used in Nuclear Weapons Testing

No we are not kidding. Back in the 1940s, the U.S. government used mannequins to test the effects of nuclear weapons. Fake subdivisions and communities were created in which mannequins were set up. The military would then detonate a nuclear weapon, inspecting the aftermath to see how the blast affected the mannequins.

Mannequins Can Watch and Hear You...

Let me rephrase that, some -- not all -- mannequins are capable of watching and hearing you. It may sound a bit creepy, but a new line of mannequins was recently launched that features a built-in video camera and microphone. This allows the store to see and hear exactly what shoppers are doing. And using this information, the store can optimize its layout and/or products to encourage higher sales.



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