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History of Embalming and of Preparations in Anatomy, Pathology, and Natural History

Length: 150 pages3 hours


This is a history of the process of embalming dead bodies, something that people have been doing for thousands of years. From the preface: “I have considered it my duty to give here the details of the composition of the liquids employed, either as baths or injections, by the physician and naturalist; the interest of science imposing on me this obligation. But, as regards embalming, the same motive does not exist; I have consequently abstained from giving in totality the means employed in this operation, reserving to myself the care of this process on the request of families or physicians.
It was not until after many unsuccessful efforts that I succeeded in discovering a method capable of insuring the indefinite preservation of bodies deposited in the earth. A thousand unexpected difficulties arose in my path; and to cite only one, at the end of eight or nine months of preservation, a vegetable production, known to botanists under the name of byssus, for a long time embarrassed me; I tried numerous means, before discovering one capable of suppressing this formation.
The perfection to which I have brought the art of embalming, leaves little to desire. So convinced am I at length of the efficacy of the processes which I employ, that I shall be always ready, at the request of the authorities or of families, to exhume those bodies which I have already embalmed in great numbers, at any expressed period of time.”

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