Method of Preserving the Dead

Patented Dec 29, 1903 by Joseph Karwowski:

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in methods of preserving the dead; and it has for its object the provision of a means whereby a corpse may be hermetically incased within a block of transparent glass, whereby being effectually excluded from the air the corpse will be maintained for an indefinite period in a perfect and life-like condition, so that it will be prevented from decay and will at all times present a lifelike appearance...

In carrying out my process I first surround the corpse 1 with a thick layer 2 of sodium silicate or water-glass. After the corpse has been thus inclosed within the layer of waterglass it is allowed to remain for a short time within a compartment or chamber having a dry heated temperature, which will serve to evaporate the water from this incasing layer, after which molten glass is applied to the desired thickness. This outer lay of glass may be molded into a rectangular form 3, as shown in Fig. 2 of the drawings, or, if preferred, cylindrical or other forms may be substituted for the rectangular block which I have illustrated. In Fig. 3 I have shown the head only of the corpse as incased within the transparent block of glass, it being at once evident that the head alone may be preserved in this manner, if preferred.

It will be at once noted that a body preserved in this way may be kept indefinitely, as the body being hermetically inclosed within the outer glass covering it will be impossible for air to reach it, and hence it will be effectually preserved from decay. The glass surrounding the corpse being transparent, the body will be at all times visible.

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 07, 2018
     Category: Death | Inventions | 1900s

"Uncle Frank was always my favourite uncle. He was always there for me through the good time and the no so good ones. I could not bear the thought of not having him in my life. When he died I decided I could honour him by using him as a paper weight."

agent j
Posted by agent j on 09/07/18 at 07:49 AM
The inventor forgot that molten glass is really really hot (1400 to 1600 C.). The corpse would become charcoal.
Posted by ges on 09/07/18 at 04:09 PM
This is a job for Lucite!
Posted by Phideaux on 09/07/18 at 09:28 PM
He also forgot some bacteria in or on the body might survive the roasting if the body does.
Posted by eddi on 09/07/18 at 11:44 PM
Should I be worried the the accompanying add on my browser was a large picture of Mike Pence?

Posted by crc on 09/08/18 at 05:55 AM
It looks like they tried to mimic the way mummies were preserved in cheap tombs in Ancien Egypt (not the pyramids; the body bags found around the pyramids). The corpse first dries in sand (the "waterglass" part), then, when all bacteria is dead and the body looks like a dried leaf, you can pour the molten glass over the waterglass. The sodium silicate will protect the corpse. After this process, you will have a nice mummified body which you can use to scare the s*** out of children at Halloween.
Posted by Yudith on 09/09/18 at 06:23 AM
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