The Bisga Fluid Man

He's three-months dead but still looking good, thanks to Bisga embalming fluid!

The ad ran in funeral trade magazines such as The Sunnyside, circa 1902 and 1903.

source: researchgate

source: cult of weird

The historian Jani Scandura offers some commentary about the ad in her article "Deadly Professions: 'Dracula,' Undertakers, and the Embalmed Corpse".

A 1902 advertisement for Bisga embalming fluid finally reveals what is at stake in embalming. The advertisement portrays a perfectly preserved corpse, embalmed three months previously, fully dressed in business attire, seated, and holding a newspaper. At first glance, the advertisement seems to suggest that through embalming one can retain one's middle-class appearance, and thereby the status achieved in life in the grave. Certainly, this was a perception that circulated in mass culture...

But in appearing to reaffirm middle-class markings through embalming, the Bisga advertisement reveals a more ominous truth: because of the laws regulating the use of corpses, the apparent gentleman's body most certainly belonged to an individual who had been destitute. He simply was remade to appear middle class.
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 08, 2021
     Category: Death | Advertising | 1900s

What is the “regulation” of which Scandura speaks? That a wealthy person’s corpse can’t be used in an ad?
Posted by Brian on 06/08/21 at 08:52 PM
I guess this dead hobo finally achieved his dream; to live the upper-middle class life.
Posted by Yudith on 06/10/21 at 05:51 AM
@Yudith: I doubt it. All he was was a prop for a commercial operation. Now, Glyndwr Michael, he had a post-mortem function to be proud of.
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/12/21 at 02:34 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.