« Stuff You Missed in History Class

SYMHC Live: Not Dead Yet - Safety Coffins and Waiting Mortuaries

2018-10-31 | 🔗

For the west coast tour, Holly and Tracy talked about the fear of being buried, which reached a fever pitch in Europe and the U.S. from the 18th to the early 20th century. That fear led to some very interesting inventions as humans tried to ensure they wouldn't end up interred before their time. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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welcome to stuff you missed in history class from Housetop works. Tat come hello, unwelcome upon cast, I'm probably fry, I'm crazy. We will then- and we recently finished the West Coast leg of our two or the happy had a different showed in the EAST Coast dates which has already aired, which was about immoral, and since we were travelling to Seattle, Portland LOS Angeles and San Francisco. In October, my favorite month, we decided to make creepy episode, and that is actually how we're closing out our Halloween programming for the year sort of. We recorded one about a classic horror actor, which has become our tradition. That's going to
in November for logistical calendar reasons, and also because it turns out, it was not really that hollowing now, when we, when we had our unexpected witchery who in the calendar we went through it, I've been ok up of these. How will we never those are recorded? This is the one that's not tied to a specific date in a slightly less hallowing you can look forward to that in November and without further ado here is one of the show we recorded during the store, hello and welcome to the past. I am wholly fry. Had I'm Tracy Well said you win a prize for best's tour, Oddy. So far it like. I don't know anybody listens the Sarbanes. That was a Sidney Mcelroy level. You shall good so the eye, of premature burial and our collective fear of it has of course been written about
centuries and thus of being buried alive is called half a phobia in case you did not know which, for some reason, makes me think about the Bob's burgers us where Louise makes of friend out of a man made of taffy out it's a whole different thing, but tat a phobia is alive and well today, but there was a period from the 18th and into the twentieth century, where it reached this fever pitch in Europe and the United States. So we're gonna break down today a little bit where that phobia really came from, at least in terms of of that period of time, and how people tried to deal with it and really just how real possibility of alive burial actually was or was not that there's a lot of emphasis on was nigh part just as US boiler. John Duns Scotus, the first of many delightful names we have in this episode was said to have been buried alive and thirteen. Oh eight,
According to a pretty widely accepted story, he had experienced some kind of an attack that left him completely unresponsive. He was buried in Cologne, and then, when his servant, who had been away when this all happen came back, he insisted that the body be exude and so the two opened done: Scotus his hands were bloody. And worn down indicating that he had been trying to fight his way out of the tomb which is horrifying. However, bad account did not actually show up until Francis Bacon about it in Historiae veto at Mortis and that's that tree of life and death, and he wrote that in the early seventeenth century, so three hundred years after done, Scotus died and completely unclear. We have no idea where he got this information because it didn't seem to exist before them. I haven't idea maybe it fevered, imagined
When he first put out the story, though it didn't really cause any kind of a panic, but by the late 18th century, leading right through the victorian era. Europe and the United States in particular we're just fascinated with and terrified of the thought of live burial, and there were a lot of factors that contributed to this huge cultural anxiety. So for one thing there was this thesis that was written in one thousand seven hundred and forty by a danish born anatomist, whose name was, Yucca beneath Winslow and it was titled Morty, inserted Signa or death uncertainty standards so really sounds like a page turner and in it he wrote about the pitfalls of how the medical community was applying its methodology, to determine that someone was or was not in fact dead, and he reference
as an example. This John DOE Scottish story, as though it were a verified fact. I like high, pronounced his name totally different remit. I don't I don't I'd, never found a consistent pronunciation so horrified, anyone, sorry just that's just a bonus, so I'll wind blows ideas were pretty sound, though he thought that a lack of a pulse and the appearance that respiration ceased. He thought that was probably not enough to conclusively and confidently declare someone to be dead, which is pretty reasonable. Conclusion. before him. The only way you thought to be sure was to wait and see if the body started decomposing, which would like that's abundance of caution. Yes, I feel like,
If Winslow were watching modern tv and film, he would be that guy in the audience going. That's not how you do it at all is all they do is look at em for, like a second, do the I closed and their out of there, and that would not be nearly enough for him, but then another physician Jacek Blue, yea, Dublin, Kirk James Franco. He took Winslow writing and he kind of ran with it, because windless thesis had been in latin and so brewer translated into free and to kind of illustrate the points that were being made. He added and anecdotes of people. had been buried alive as a sort of commentary, and he published this. Is it the volume of work and the first volume was published in forty two. It was title this test, your cell s attitude, they see, de la more or uncertainty of signs of death so rich. I said it badly His translation didn't rely on any kind of verified information when it
to adding in these anecdotes he I'd on folk, lore and wherein legends to fill out this whole version of his book and that really The station lived adaptation of Winslow earlier work became incredibly successful. It was translated and Republic in Europe and in the United States, and then some of these translations then added their own flourish with all kinds of. Their stories that, beyond what had been supplied so to lay people this came off, is incredibly credit Oh, it was written by a doctor to doctors, depending on the attribution of the translation, I'm not gonna naming names. I feel like that. Still a doctor out there saying stop and people are believing it disease a doctor, but, of course of doktor said that you're, a burial was a real common danger. That must be true, so he made a lot of money offered this work, yet they are wanted to be ready and understand what this also
nation and even though other medical professionals eventually wrote their own critiques of breweries work pointing out how much if it was really speculative and, in fact, quaint fanciful. The damage was already in so many ways, people had already latched onto it, and so many people had grown terrified that they were going to be misidentified of dead. That there is absent, No walking back this belief, it's kind of like thing were once you believe it. Even when credible evidence is presented just think its efficacy ray it's real in your hiding it you're working for big coffin. So there is, way that we're gonna get fixed, but on the plus side, this book and its popularity and the public consciousness about the possibility of live burial did make physicians a lot more careful about declaring their patients dead. This is like the opposite of Virginia Apgar needing to look at the babies
so the case of Hannah best. What gives this clear indicator of how deeply people were starting to fear being it alive. In the second half of the eighteenth century, Hannah was a wealthy woman. She was unmarried and because brother had allegedly been almost buried alive. She was really really completely terrified of premature burial so much so that she made a deal with her Manchester Doktor Charles White, to keep her body from burial indefinitely in even bigger abundance of caution some twenty thousand Jenny's. So some retailing say that he inherited the entirety of her fortune. Others say that he merely how does one one some pay out, but the important thing is that he really did keep her for being buried for a very long time. So Aramis Beswick died in seventeen. Fifty eight doktor white embalmed, her he kept her
Home for years and years and years, he would check on her annually with a wit, standing by that make sure everything was cool and that she was in fact well preserved. I read one thing that said that he eventually moved her from like kind of an out in the open thing to like putting earn a clock, but I'm not sure is that? How are you keep your body is? I know I gotta how Hola grandfather clocks, I gotta open once a year. I don't really tell anybody come for me. I so expect police at my hotel later, so he totally kept his promise and and went through with what this deal hadn't they held. But then, when Doktor White died in eighteen thirteen, the executive, the executors of her of his estate, we're like our own to do dead body, so they gave it the Museum of Manchester Society of natural history and she went on display their just, probably not when she had in mind
she was finally buried in eighteen, sixty eight, and that was a hundred years after she died. So this lead to rumours that that had been the timeline that was specified with her doctor, but I don't think that's it we the case and while she was on display at the museum she took on the nickname, the man Chester Mummy. If I had a time machine in our series of ridiculous things who do a time machine, I will. I would go back in I meant to reassure her honey once once they embalm you if you weren't dead before or you are super in eighty seventeen a man named John snarked. This gang better published a book. called the sorrows of horror,
in which he recounted a number of incidents of alleged live burials and one such story reads quote about forty years ago a man well known about the streets of London and its environs as an itinerant vendor of hang chiefs etc was known, only supposed dead but partly buried alive. However, he was happily rescued from the above horrible fate by some providential accident of delay in totally filling up the grave and before the grave diggers had left the spot, he was heard to grown and was instantaneously relieved from his perilous situation. The particulars of where it happened have escaped the author recollection, but the awful substance is not obliterated in the least so smart describe this man, I know that name: Dude, change. It up described this man, as quote
it'll living witness of the horrible temerity of premature interment, and here that, while this nameless handkerchief And went on to live a really long life, it wasn't a great life because he was taunted and made fun of being the dude the got buried alive and this whole tail, though I mean you guys, are smart. You heard it has all of the trade marks of a tall tale that is told to stir up fear and probably sell books in the process. So it's very convenient that them then question? Who has no name also has no ties to anyone else on any sort of records is just general salesman, your we don't know, but he lived through this whole well near burial and then suffered the jokes of insensitive jerks for the rest, his life. So it's kind of this double whammy of sad stories and we all of those. So that's why I sold a lot of bourgeois so Smart went on to suggest that for every near Miss like that a thousand other,
people were buried before their time was not alone in this totally made up statistic numerous writers or publishing their opinions in their warnings on the matter of being buried alive with a whole array of unsubstantiated and berries. Scary statistics, everything from one false burial a week to two out of every one hundred burials being premature were reported. Yeah and now has completely made up, there was like some of these would describe like how they came to those figures, but it was always based on like weird supposition and not not really anything scientifically sound and that topic of this, potential to be buried alive, remained really popular with There are three hundreds as we said it sold a lot of books in eighteen. Ninety, more than seventy years after snarks publication, Doktor, more Russell flesh,
wrote a book titled our home doktor domestic and botanical around. These simplified am explained for family treatment, with a treatise Pont suspended animation the danger, of burying alive and directions for, restoration, which I kind of love. I mean you want the antidote rate in it. And with a secondary title of one thousand per and buried alive by their best friend. So text your best and after the show it be like check on me, make sure they happen at eighteen. Hundreds went on a number of other inflows.
is raised more cultural anxiety about premature burial and one of those was the fiction of the time. In July of eighteen, forty four EDGAR Allan pose the premature burial was published and dollar newspaper and this story in case you haven't read. It features a narrator who has cattle FC, and that is medical condition in which the person falls into a death like state of unconsciousness think we talked about it in the episode we did on our collapse, z and because of it, the narrator of this story is afraid for his whole life of being buried alive and we won't give them The plot away in case you haven't, read it it's a really lovely discovery. Could step Pokemon knew what he was doing, but then reader sites examples in the book of premature burials to give his concerns credence, and he describes all of many many ways in which he has carefully prepared his own tomb to escape from in case he suffers. The quote tree wretchedness
of being buried alive. In story was, of course sensational and it preyed on this idea and fear that was already really taking hold in the culture. I'm need also already touched on premature burial and whose short story, Baroness, which was published in the other Unliterary messenger in eighteen, thirty, five and pose story can governments, Iago also played on the fear of live burial and revenge plot. I remember that one from school immature, I lost my place My paper, I think, is because I left a word out of this paragraph, because that's what I like to do today, Airy said Jack, whether a little bit for honour toes it's fine We would share a burial figured in Sudan. Nineteen thirty nine burdens gentlemen's magazine debut of the fall of the house of a Another thing we read in school, we read a lot oppose, pose willing good, so powers.
Fascinated with this idea of being buried alive, which is probably not a surprise to anybody and also recognize the potentially lucrative nature of these tales that preyed on the readers tears feel like. I should have an aside and go. I know we talked about a lot, but I am a woman with a french portrait of EDGAR Allan POE in her dining room. So clearly, I have a little bit of a focus situation. Apparently, we allow more opposing this outline and then it was there would hold back. There sits up more po because I just wanna talk about his work I'll turn castle, and all of these stories, though, about premature burial that he wrote came before his really rapid rise to fame in eighteen. Forty five with the publication of the raven, but once he became popular in the raven, became popular. His stories were reprinted to capitalize on that fame, and so his work continued to gain new readers and become more famous and build on the already common
year of awakening in a tomb or grave that had just been you know, already kind of bubbling
up in the? U S in Europe, so keep in mind that, while embalming had been practised all the way back to ancient Egypt, it really wasn't all that common in the United States or Europe. At this point, embalming isn't necessary. A lot of cultures and religions, look on it as a deface men of the body, and it really became more popular during the United States. Civil war when Doktor Thomas Home started embodying embalming bodies, so that there would be some time to ships the bodies of short soldiers who have been killed in the battle home to their families. Homes had been experimenting with embalming practices before that he claimed to have embalmed more than four thousand bodies during the war, making himself a whole lot of money in that process, and then, after that, embalming became a business that was offered to the general population and it gave funeral professionals away to give grieving families more time to make there.
their funeral arrangements, rather than meaning to bury the body pretty much immediately. You about four thousand bodies number gets really big. When you consider that at the time he was apparently charging a hundred dollars per body. So during the civil war that was a load of cash like a huge amount of money and the twentieth century. Approached discussion of premature burial became even more common in public discourse and working get into that a little bit, but right now what applause. This episode of stuff, you missed in history, glasses, brought to you by Norton three sixty with lifelong, what they you're sure, being online with your smartphone. Its super feels like ear personal information. just right there in your hand, but that's not always the case, because, as soon as you hit submit your person, information could start going other places, and whenever you shop, bank or browse online, your personal invoking get out of your control and that can we be vulnerable to cyber criminals. More threats demand more protection.
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to ensure I mean they had a mission. He wanted make sure that steps were taken to minimize the likelihood of anyone suffering this fate, and he worked with Doc there's an survival of near burial to develop the ideas that the group formed together. So in nineteen o five tab tab published a book. It was too old, premature burial and how it may prevented, with special reference to Trance kettle of sea and other forms of suspended animation, and this book had a bunch of different methods. Building on the work of the writers that came before that the medical community would, be able to be very, very certain that a person was really dead before declaring them to be dead. These are not pleasant methods, no shelter, warning brace. If your squeamish, these included, holding fire to their hands and apply. hot irons, to the body
injecting them with various substances, some of which would have killed them. But the idea here was that people entranced like state they were causing these false death declarations could perhaps be jilted to come business by some form of shock to the body like the August slapping was, nice. I dont know what that's about. Why they're like? Let's Burnham, but this book also but up some really pretty cool new ideas for the time. So it mentioned attempts at resuscitation through electric shock or official respiration- and this is a very new idea, chest compressed and with super new at this point it had been discussed and practised in some form or another, although not commonly for about ten years and mouth to mouth, solicitation was still fifty years or so. In that regard, it was really ahead of its time, so you may have noticed that trance stay
save come up a lot and you might wonder why were there are so many people in comas entrances during this time? That seems odd. There were a couple of things going on in one big problem was cholera and in the nineteenth century call cholera, pandemics were pretty common and global trade was helping to carry contaminated food and water, basically everywhere but one of the advance states of the illness was a coma that presented very much like death and we're cases where a per person was determined to be deceased when they were, in fact not additionally, just knowing that it was possible. To get so sick that you looked dead even to a physician, really help spread a public sense of fear that that might happen. Another problem was what came to be called lucid, hysterical, lethargy or more casually death trance,
I continue to be really curious about what was really going on here, but there were numerous cases in the nineteenth century of people who, confronted with certain topics are essential situations would experience this highly elevated heart rate. Followed by a drop into it s a death trance anyway, actually doktor, George Gaed Vittoria. That, too I that really not the way. Anyone should say this word: how does this go Holly George Gilles de lots of let that guy for whom cigarette syndrome is named, who came to the king, and that it was a mental disorder and not a contagion or medical issue? Yet that's on others, things that it sometimes gets written. under the category of hysterical women, but there were actually
This is where they were recording this, like they were taking these people's pulses and they were rising rapidly and then dropping to almost nothing. So if that was the case, Some one kind of working themselves into it, like their body, was definitely responding to their mental state terms. Like Is it there? I was a phenomenon- that's Nunez Total Lout, which is german for dead loud, and it refers to the way that the gases build up in the body during the composition and they eventually cause the throat to open But there were a lot more that were mistakenly identified as having buried having been buried prematurely and because of improved communications that are happening in the late nineteenth century. Industry was causing great communication had been as these horror stories would get picked up and spread like wildfire, and they were largely at the result of people, not understanding science and how the human body decomposed
for example, a lot of these stories. Hymns done this evidence and airports that the person heard to cry out after having been buried, but this is actually a phenomenon that known as total lout, which is german for dead loud and it refers to the way that the gases build up in the body during the composition and they eventually cause the throat open in the air. Russia's like it would, if you were speaking, it causes some kind of cry for help, but not a cry for help. It's a primate by gas in your decomposing body. You just have gas yeah there's a lot of his just gas, ever since I was doing this research- and I told it to my husband every time we Belgium, a house, total allowed and were highly area that is, the new euphemism Miss o my total exacting up so a similarly some of the most shocking embraced. His is gonna gross ups,
thing. Stories of premature burial are attributed to women who died while pregnant and then for some reason or another were later exuberant to discover what appeared to have been an in coffins delivery. its super gross, I know, is very sad, but it's not quite the the What was happening would presume that oh, my gosh, she woke up and gave birth to her baby in a coffin. That's not what happened at all there is always a german word for everything, and this phenomenon is called saga, birds which simply means coffin birth. so discoveries of coffin births in history which, like they continue to happen when we're doing our earth episodes at the end of the year. Sometimes there are, you know somebody did an archaeological dig, and here is that it is the number one right there, but it could lead to really steep penalties and punishment. for the doctors who were involved in it, something that was discovered pretty quickly. The doctors would be accused of neglect, but once again the real culprit here is just the composition and gas
like gas, willingly abdominal cavity, creating pressure like this. It's not it's not at all that the person was still living in some way, a thing that that is not is not noted here, but that we, like, I heard about it in my teen tween fascination with death years, was people thinking that people's hair and nails were continuing to grow and, like some of it was people thought that people's here in the house continued to grow after they died, which they dont or they were like all. They must have a varied alive, because they're here is so much longer. No it just like your skin receives my tell you some scary, but there was one thing that came up in some of the research. I was doing that no one's been able to explain. Which is that in cases where bodies have been exude, there have been times where they have found clutches of hair in clenched hands. They can't explain bats, now if lake as part of the composition, you try to comb your hair
Pretty I don't I don't know and have it, but that's a scary thing that came up and because there's no explanation eyes like me, once running long blue ass. If that doesn't seem like something that a person might do if they really did regained consciousness in the coffin of the four thing I would do a judge, ok, reversing where's, my lipstick it turned into Beatrix, kiddo and start a positive. hey so all of a sudden about area. All of this concern about being trapped in an early grave naturally sparked human innovation and starting in the eighteenth century, people started coming up with some pretty fantastic coffins that would ease their fears of waking up six feet under with no means of escape. Thus these so called safety coffin was born. So Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick is usually cited as the first person to commission a safety coffin
and that was a project he initiated in the early seventeen. Ninety, so in the early years of almonds, having this was a custom built coffin and he had a window, and all there was a two so that if he were, if he awoke in, if you woke entombed, he cast over you and then importantly, the coffin had a locking lid and it wasn't supposed to be nailed in place. The lock could be opened from inside. So he also had a special set of keys made. This is more complicated than these keys that we're tucked into pocket and his death shroud, so if by some misfortune he had been buried alive when he woke up, he could use those keys to open up his coffin and then open the family tomb from inside I woke up in a cup and I wouldn't I have my wits about me. I would not other than the lipstick, which I would totally do, but then I'd be like. I would do. The Beatrix Kiddo thing like in really hurt myself present a key item. Keys may never got of others
he's, but here's the thing right, not everybody had a family tomb, so you couldn't just give yourself a set of keys. Most folks were buried in the ground with no way to see themselves out, so a few years after Duke Furred man's idea, a german priests name, Pga pests came up. My idea that every coffin should have a cord install that could be pulled from the inside and shoot the person wake up inside and pull said gourd. The local church bells would ring so that everyone, now that the recently buried person was in fact a lot. It's gotta come dig up in eighteen, twenty ease inventor and showman out of guts Psmith put his own spin onto this whole idea of a safety cop in his. often features included the ones in the other models of the times. There was an air tube and an alarm, but that
who bought his design was big enough that if the person inside woke up food could be sent down to give them enough sustenance, while the whole digging up process happen so gets himself tested. His invent is in mentions a lot of time and on one occasion he ate a full meal of sausages and soup and washed it all down with beer all buried one inside one of his coffins that access Sorry, this seems like a very ghastly plan for your task It also seems like a restaurant concept that is gonna, take off your nose once getting here. This would be like I'm going to call investors and I'm twenty two coffin in tubes. In of sausage. I just had to say stay. I gotta admiring the sausage in a tube, and I wonder if the two got greasy on the way.
I have many questions. Questions like you. Don't really have a lot of room to sit up in a closed coffin, so, unlike hurry drinking, your that guy would die, because I would open my mouth to be ready and the food would go in and I would choke. Ok, that's how that would put maybe like ITALY, where their journey think how you have the second funeral at that point, A really complex and fairly thorough approach was devised in eighteen, twenty, nine by Doktor, Johann Gottfried Taverner, and this german inventor designed again, system of strings to attach to the probably deceased swims which and to an above Ground Bell and to avoid be false, alarms. The bell had its own little housing to prevent it from being triggered by the elements. If it got reigned honor, if wind came, it wouldn't go off and the Bell rang. A watchman was trained
spring into action and insert a tube into a specific slot, so that breathable air could be pumped down to the under ceased in eighteen, sixty eight Franz best, her of Newark New Jersey, filed a patent for an improved burial case. I had a book with this exact patent. Drawing win I was a team in this. I dont it wasn't even like. I was particularly gothic hear anything. I was just like really fascinated by achieving super into from the scientific angle yeah, whereas I was, I grew yeah Guffey, What kind of lining is in that coffin yeah sure I was tunic it received soft. So the patent application described how this would all work quote
supposed corpse being laid in the body a of the coffin and the cord k placed in the hands of the corpse the cord is next to drawn through the tube, we attach to the bell. I M a tube c is placed the base de over whether the coffin, the coffin is now lured into the grave and the grave filled up to the air. Inlets F now should the purse late in the coffin on returning to life, desire to ascend from the coffin and the grave to the surface. He could do so by means of the latter age, but if too weak to ascend by the latter, he can pull the cord in his hand and ring the bell I giving the desired arm for help. I like that, he's like. If you want to out. He doesn't want to lay there may be a hundred. Maybe it had a good lining.
Francis coffin design would be buried only up to a certain point is Tracy said so the air inlets would still wet air, come in an oxygen to they may be deceased and then, after a certain period of time, had passed without the coffins passenger, which was the only way I could come up with their making. Any moves to leave than the burial could be completed. This, I imagine, grave diggers, and the like found this very irritating as a concept like thanks for double in my workload near really making the job of an already very labour intensive job harder s. So there eighteen, eighty five inventors, Charles Seeber and Frederick, each one trigger of war. Lou Illinois came up with a casket that offered quote certain new and useful improvement and lifeguard signals for people buried in a trance,
and this invention had an above ground Bell. That could be wrong from the person buried in the coffin of others before it had, but it also had a mechanism that could activate a blast of air into the coffin once again from above ground to avoid suffocation was fancy in eighteen. Ninety three: when Vermont Doktor Timothy Clerk Smith died, nine or he was rather interred in aggrieved that he had designed specifically for himself to stave off the likelihood of accidently dying underground. So he first arranged for the space next to his plot. To also be his and he had a set of stairs built into it, and he, rigged his own breathing too, and Bell system to alert anyone in case he awoke entombed, but he also added another touch, and this is a window above ground that sees down today
you can still see the window over his face in evergreen cemetery in New Haven Vermont, but the glass which was intended to give passer by or someone who is, may be concerned a chance. to just check him out of them and see like hey. Are you actually deceased or you maybe waken up that has unfortunately become clouded? So if you our feeling a little bit morbid and you want to go look. You won't see anything gross, but you can say that you went and looked at a corpse through a window down or no that's unfortunate, but I think that might be a blessing counts, Michel Dick armies, Carnegie, came up with his own solution to this whole premature burial problem in eighteen. Ninety seven, he was it in Berlin Tsar Nicholas Second of Russia, and he presented this idea at a conference organised by the french society of Hygiene, the Sorbonne there were doctors and diplomats and
press. The tsar had given him the leeway in his duties to focus exclusively on developing the idea for this coffin and he had put all the bells and whistles into it. So he called his device luck, armies after himself, like you would unlike similar inventions, it was intended to alert someone if the person in the coffin was alive. This version was also intended to give even an unconscious, but alive person a shot it being rescued so you'll notice, some of those others involved like you, gotta wake up and pull a string and do a thing. But this had a glass ball that hung over the chest of the probably bedpost and if the ball was in any way disturbed, it would trigger this spring loaded mechanism that opened a container that sat above the grave and when the container open air would rush into the coffin via a tube. These people love it
jobs, a child would sound and a flag would deploy. So it was like when I feel like. If this were a real functioning type thing lit, Richard had this air tube also allowed light into the coffin, because he thought like if you had been buried in you woke up, you might want to actually have some daylight. and it also had a tiny electric light inside the coffin as a backup solution. In case you woke up on an overcoat day or night, so this was incorrect. Well received somehow it was affordable. it had been developed over the years of research in it probably helped that it had the Russians are behind it. That was a lot of clout. The press, Ray to that? It had solved the problem of premature burial, the law the association for the prevention of premature burial, endorsed it and soon
this thing on tour to promote it. Ding Ding go well it didn't go as bad as you're thinking, but there was a problem so tour the count, what stand there and extol the virtues of this invention, while an assistant who was buried Lock Ernie's would provide a very real demonstration of just how well it worked, but on one of the star, on the tour the Bell failed to sound and the flag did not deploy and time was going by and the audience started, giving progressively more concerned, and so did. Carnies Carnegie So the inventor then got several men and was kind of like he called it and they all started digging very quickly and they were very happy when the assistant turned out to be alive. He had triggered the device and at work enough to get air to him, but those alarm systems did not work at the press. Act They secured Lock Ernie's. After this, it was a big public failure, it was super embarrassing and even the
ever that it had briefly enjoyed from the medical professionals and high profile enthusiasts that had initially embraced it quickly retracted. So courteous Carnegie continued to market his device, in an effort to try to regain the public's loss, trust and a man named for up Lorenzo, who was seventy eight, demonstrated the device for the count in Turin, ITALY. He was buried in it for nine days before being dug up again, he wrote, he's gonna Keyword in promotional material hyping up how real the danger of premature was and trying to counteract olive its critics, and he took his safety costs and to the United States, where it was once again really well received, but not well enough tat. He ever managed terminally, so many of them yeah, allegedly it sat in like show rooms at funeral homes, and it was a you could have this view. That's ok, we'll think. So, I'm not little Richard. There were ITALY
to design for safety coffins that I really like they really simplify this whole concept of alerting people that you might need out Hubert. though of New York, came up with his version in eighteen. Ninety four and then Marie Constant Hippolyte, Nicole of France, came up with hers in eighteen. Ninety nine and both of these made use of natural move to set the cycle in motion to alert someone above ground and get air pumped into the coffin. Both of them realise that, rather than having a court that somebody had to remember to pull on waking. It will be a lot more elegant to just have a lever above the head of the body, so the first thing of her. And what do upon waking up in a coffin would probably be to raise their head. So both of these designs were triggered by that motion of sitting up in the coffin. But what happened after the trigger
a little different, so in devotes design, the raising of the head would raise and open a vow of above ground that would admit air into the coffin and that of as per devotes patent right up quote, should be made of. Some bright color, so that it could be readily scene, and so it would alert grave waters. That movement was under way in the coffin that was buried below calls, design featured and elaborate hook and counterweight apparatus that broken glass when the person lifted their head, which let air come in, Eventually, electricity actually made its way into some of these safety coffin designs in nineteen hundred that Walter J Make Night of Buffalo New York and also by the breaking of the glass set in motion. Any convenient apparatus were sounding the alarm, so this particular
sign was intended for coffins that would be kept above ground until the living were completely certain that the person in it was dead and then the window area would be sealed up as some kind of plate and then the coffin would be buried. You have to wonder these does. means that feature buying from other people. You can buy the coffin, but also got a fine so unwilling to either only bury you far away or hang out, so they're sure your dad and seal this thing up before it goes it like. I mean how do you approach a friend with that high? I love you and I need to talk about my final. Whence eventually electricity actually made its way into some of these safety coffin designs. In nineteen hundred that Walter J Make Night of Buffalo New York filed a patent for an electric device for in taking the awakening of persons buried alive and enmity its design movement within the coffin would close a circuit like he had all these levers that were metal when they would close circuits. If you moved and it was, it
to an electric signal above ground and one section design even included in arm similar to that glass ball. We talked about earlier that just sat above the chest of the person that was probably deceased so that even if they breathed and we're not conscious, it would close that circuit and start the whole pro so these are all novel and creative ideas that does not, though, make them good and we are going just a guess why that is in just a moment, but first we will leave a play spur an ad for listener than home later on sitting it is on the beautiful cable beach. is a spectacular new resort destination in the Bahamas. With your choice of three ocean front hotels, the grand high it s less rosewood. This is the place to find your perfect lending luxury taxation and a lot of fun, whatever your before you- can find it at Baja, MAR the Bahamas,
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there is, of course, some pretty flawed logic in most of these safety often designs that we'd be been out. So, as we mentioned in the first segment corpses twist and turn a lot in a lot of bizarre ways as they decomposed. So almost all of these designs, that featured some movement in the coffin setting them off open to the possibility of false positive alarms being activated the obvious solution, at least, if you asked France Vest or in eighteen. Sixty eight was doing the viewing tube so that again it's a tube the other people could then just like peak in on the recently buried and see if they were trying to get help or if they were just take imposing in setting the alarm of yeah So in addition to that, unless the provided air supply were being pumped in continually, the person inside would really still
may be able to survive, were a very brief amount of time it even as little as an hour so the idea of waking up and then activating the air tube so like that this was just not really a workable solution. but even though the fields of medicine and preparation of the dead have both of all, there is doing, ongoing fear of being buried alive. That persists today, because some religions- we mention this here forego embalming or require that a body be put in the ground very quickly. There is still there possibility in the minds of some people that this could actually be real, sir, and so, as I was digging through the patent office listings of safety coffins the most recent one that I found was actually designed in twenty fourteen, and it is the portable alarm system for coffins in it is it featured quote a signal, transmitting structure, removable secured in the coffin or to say,
If someone were to wake up inside this coffin, they get press a button. A visual signal above the ground would be triggered in then the thing here- support that. I really like it's designed with conservation in mind, because when determine that enough time has gone by that the person within is really and truly deceased. Then this whole debate can be removed and used again on another coffin, chemical or recycling, so even before, safety, coffin really became so popular another way to avoid premature burial had a brief heyday, and that was the waiting mortuary. This is basically a We're bodies could be placed in observed for a period of time to make sure they were really definitely truly dead before being interred and the car vision was the only benchmark for determining that the death was real with any kind of confidence. So
brewer that fearmongering doctor who stirred up all this panic over waking up in a tumor grave had actually proposed this concept. The way back in the seventeen forties, but it didn't managed interaction. Initially, there were some heads of royal says here like we should do that and then the funding never happened, because probably they realize but the idea come up again in the late seventeen eighties, because a number of other doctors about point who had read brew, days. Work started reiterating it and re writing their own ideas about this and saying that this is really something we should can. You're. So obviously it would be optimal to keep somebody who appeared to be dead somewhere that if they did wake up, they could just be seem too, physician immediately and given whatever care they needed to continue to not be dead, but it's hard to tell people to keep their deceased loved ones around their houses for prolonged,
it's just in case they happened to wake up. I know you're dealing with grieving in some other stuff, because you just hang hang onto this for a snuck, so Germany in particular, picked up this idea. That special facility should be built to how's the newly probably dead, where they could be looked after and dawn in an environment that was specially prepared for any surprise, awakenings one of the proponents of this was a physician name, Christophe Phil home who for land who wrote very plainly about the corpse house that he was building in seventeen. Ninety one, Pokemon did not embellish or tell frightening stories to support this writing. He wasn't. You know prone to try those like stir up for her about it. He was really matter of fact, and he described all of these functions very simply and very clearly and hoof alliance, like an house which was named the asylum for doubtful life
the names in the Thursday's good there good there were eight beds or stretchers for the corpses and then an attendant captain. I on all the charges- and this is at the time, normally a woman, but who philanthropy The men were to fly too stupid to do a really good jobs. So he thought that this should become a train profession for young men. Thanks, dude glad to have it covers. There are also quarters to keep the place basically like a home keeping fires going and saying to the general tidings of the place and a doctor was on call at all hours and who finance waiting cherry was built in Weimar, but before long similar facilities popped up in Berlin, Frankfurt, Augsburg, and a lot of other cities throughout Germany is sort of. Like the saying me finds a way. You could also say that free and DR does as well, because like a house in Munich, figured out a way to make extra
cash, and that was that this establishment charged a visitor, see that once paid entitled the gap to just explore the facility. They were welcome to see all of the beautiful lounges in waiting rooms, but they also wanted to go, walk in a corpse room and the like in house, in Frankfurt also started taking visitors who wanted to indulge their Mc Cobb. Curiosity, like a precursor to the Motor Museum kind of oh, that Munich facility had some other problems in terms of how was run the staff as a matter of procedure, tied strings to the extremities of the patients which, if they moved, would trigger a harmonious so the pump organ and the harmonious was played once a day to make sure that it still worked was in good working order, but ass we mentioned my case and safety confines dead. People move a lot, it's pretty common, and so this was basically Just a constant, also arm situation. I can't imagine being the person whose job it is to sit with
dead bodies to make sure there really dead in their constantly moving and making noise. But it's about a year ago that harmonious poorly tuned don't we like me harmonious, waiting for mortuaries persisted well into the nineteenth century. There were even a few in the twentieth century. They had not yet shut down and propriety started to hope that they could mould this into a luxury industry by building progressively more ornamental and fast. Noble Helen was for these businesses. They looked like beautiful houses, but they didn't last forever
because, despite the fancier ones being bill, people just started to think of them is really gross places isn't like a kind of were they just we're like have also lets, say my love to I'm wakes up. I don't want them to wake up in a room full of corpses, so they kind of starting to fall out of fever. People started to question what it would be like for. Somebody falsely assumed to be dead to whip up wake up in a place like this to surrounded by these decomposing bodies, and they just didn't want that, and there was this very tricky fact: there's no record of anyone ever waking up in one that casts doubt on the entire idea of premature burial. As this, you note total scourge of living people and that is people started to realize tat. It was really pretty unusual to be buried alive. It became apparent that there was no need for a service like this, and waiting worker mortuary is slowly died out.
I'm so sorry, I wrote that pine and I don't even like times. I promise I punch myself and I am the first of the unique of episode of our show, a brief history of air conditioning Noah, condensed, history of air conditioning, and I don't like puns either, but I let us call it anything be outside that, I'm I'm not a fail on the ponds. I don't know why. I got it wrong in front of alive audience, say: ok, everything's cool listen to our other live shows and is Tracy mentioned earlier. We when no bummer policy for them, and you might know that so are we talking about really morbid and sometimes gross things here so interest of ending in a bit of a happier place, I had this goofy idea that, I would write a silly poem about final wishes, a famous historical people that were designed to make sure that they did not go to their graves before their time is probably the best thing that ever happened on our shared
oversell it could. Now. I went to choke, so I called how to make sure you won't be buried alive or weird advice from famous people. Ok, there. by and you have to do with me here. There is a moment where I'm going to say the word veins and what I mean is the word arteries, but the word arteries takes up a lot of syllables in his heart to rhyme in arriving couplet. So please do not pedants this poem. I know arteries. But here we go George Washington asked to be held for three days before he was placed in his Mount Vernon Grave, Alfred note oh baby, please open my veins HANS Christian Anderson wanted the same framework Japan wished his body cut open but our four pewter affection to set in Mr Anwar dearest wish simply said: whatever happens, My son, please just make sure I'm dead is that
We want to link so many people for making our first tour at the light on both coasts from all of the venue staff that took great care of us in me. The shows happen too all of the people that came out to sea ass. You were all amazing and we are so so grateful for your support and your warms and for chatting US and just making it a really delightful time, and we hope everybody uses brave. Halloween has a wonderful and save time and actually have a little bit a listener meal which is related to one of our following episodes. It's actually two pieces of male because they are related. They are both about Charles Atoms episode. So the first one is from and are Megan, I hope, she's a maiden and not a million, and then I'm not miss pronouncing it, but either way. You know I meant well long time listener. First time rating in, thank you for your lovely and engaging podcast. I learn so much with each episode. I
even more delighted that a bit of the second part of the Charles Adam story grazed my life. If by a minute fraction. I am a p as you alarm, and never knew my alma mater had such a piece of art, although be feared. The library system for Penn State is huge. If you recall in that episode, we mentioned a piece of art that the library had there. Huge mural fourteen by four feet, the Charles Adams painted originally for a seaside resort, and she goes on to say the petty and, turn libraries. I hope I'm not mispronouncing that are truly we buildings and worth touring if any other listener has the opportunity to visit state college our university park, the campus name, the light does allow the public in for viewing, and if you are a Pennsylvania resident, you may even get a library card for you, in any library within the entire Penn state system across the state which is some to know, and then just in case you were wanted a little more back up and reassurance. We also got an email about the same thing from our listener. Ruth
who says, I'm a regular listener who also happens to work in paternal library. First of all, thanks repeating the narrative of someone discover, in our library about that piece of art, since it had been hanging just outside our news library for more than a decade. Although people I've gotten kind of used to seeing it through. Second, as we serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our life it is open to the public and folks, are welcome to come in and look at all of our art, the architecture of our build kings and use our materials any time we're open. If you in the entrance on curtain, road and turn left at the welcome desk. You will see a sign for Starbucks go through that to the lounge and the picture is up on the far side so now you have reassurance also from a library employee that it is perfectly ok to go check out that Charles Adams Painting, if you wish, as well as Hindi directions. Thank you That was great. thank you making for a writing and telling us about it as well. I hope many people go check it out cause. It's really incredibly lovely
at its despair, ghoulish charm, that I love Charles items for you later right do ass. You can do so at history pie cast a house to start com. You can also find us everywhere, Lydia as missed in history. You can find us it missed in history about com on our website, where we have every episode that has ever existed, to show as well shone out for the ones that Tracy and I have worked on an occasional other, It is an odds and ends If you would like to subscribe, you could do so at Apple podcast or on the Iheart Radio, APP Ever you listen to pass. for more on this and thousands of other topics. Visit Housetop works, dot com- situated on the beautiful cable beach.
Is a spectacular new resort destination in the Bahamas, with your choice of three ocean front hotels, the grand high it s less rosewood. This is the place to find your perfect lending luxury, taxation and a lot of fun, whatever your before you can find it at Baja. Mar the Bahamas most exciting, culinary destination. The resort is home to over forty restaurants, bars and lounges, ranging from casual waterside either is too high end chef driven dining experiences alive inglorious landscape, pools acres of prestige, each one A soothing, esper spot offer endless relaxation, while guess and thrilled at bottom, a casino in a ray of high energy night spots and at the royal blew the most acquaint new offers in the kid just a short flight from the? U S and fifty minutes drive from the airport. Baja mark isn't easy get away any time of the year. The book your next vacation at one of the resort, three iconic hotels and tourists.
Or what you specials, including up to thirty five percent savings on your stay. Yes, thirty five percent visit, Baja Marduk, that's by Hamas gotta, be a h m, may are dot. Com