Tag Archives | embalming

Russians Have Mastered the Art of Embalming the Dead

V. I. Lenin, 1920 {{PD-US}}

V. I. Lenin, 1920 {{PD-US}}

An article from BBC a few years ago outlines the art of the long-term embalming of the dead. The Russians have mastered this in an effort to keep Lenin’s body pristinely preserved. Once a day they must soak Lenin’s hands and face in a special solution and wash his entire body in the solution once a week. Am I the only one who thinks this is just a tad creepy?

via BBC:

Ilya Zbarsky, who was a member of Lenin’s embalming maintenance team at the Research Institute for Biological Structures in Moscow, told the BBC in an interview in 1999: “Twice a week, we would soak the face and the hands with a special solution. We could also improve some minor defects. Once a year the mausoleum was closed and the body was immersed in a bath with this solution.”

Such was the reputation of the Russians in the field of body preservation that Vietnam’s former leader Ho’s body was said to have been flown to experts in Moscow every year for a refresh.

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Dressing Up For the Reaper: How Embalming Makes the Dead Look Alive

DR's. C. B. CHAMBERLIN & Benjamin F. LYFORD DEMONSTRATING THEIR EMBALMING TECHNIQUE

DR’s. C. B. CHAMBERLIN & Benjamin F. LYFORD DEMONSTRATING THEIR EMBALMING TECHNIQUE

The Complete history of preserving the bodies of the recently deceased. Including a step by step process.

via Gizmodo

President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15th, 1865, mere hours after John Wilkes Booth inflicted the mortal gunshot wound, but his body had to survive a 19-day train ride across the country before being laid to rest in Springfield, Ill. And thanks to a recent discovery by a Union surgeon, the president looked as serene when he arrived as when he left. Death is never pretty, but we sure can come close.

Barring intervention, Lincoln’s corpse would have been well into the decomposition process a fortnight after death. Various chemical processes and bacterial endeavors leave the body swollen with gas, blotched skin, sunken eyes, and a host of other deformities. However, the embalming process perfected by Dr. Thomas Holmes of Columbia University put the kibosh on that deterioration, preserving the corpse long enough to reach its final destination.

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Mushroom Death Suit

5934717321_bb03e77a6d_bSomeday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.

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