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