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Electro-plating The Dead

Electro-plating The Dead image
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Whereverthe population is dense - :is it is iu all great cities- itUseen at once that the custom of burying the bodies of deceased persons is a certain and frtiitful source of distase. Water mul air ure alike polluted and rendered dangerous to llfe by the placing in tlie eartli of tlie lifeless lutnps of elay which will in time be resolved into tlieir original elemento, but wliicli, in tlie meantime, give forth noxious exhalations. For this rrason the practice of intrainural hurial haf been done away witli and modern cemteries are plan-d as far as possible lroni municipal centers. In lieu of inluimation. the scientlsts of the present day have devised four methods - nameiy, creraation, ceraentation, coklng and electro-platlng. Cremation is only the classic funeral pyre, without any of lts unpleasant and re vol ting attendants. The body is reduced to a handful of aslies by intense heat in a turnace so arranged that nothing disagreeable passes off during the process. Tlie process of coking is similar; but instead of being buriied, the body is exposed t a tlameless heat and reducuii toa hard, brlttle substauce instead of to ashes. Cementation does not deal directly with the body, but with ts environment. Il consista in hermetically sealing the eollln liy placing a coat of the i'nicst cement all arouod it. The advantages of a sarcophagus are in this way, pecured without niucli expense. But the latest method, and one whicu js growing into popular favor, is electro-plating. It is the applLcatión of a perfectly even metallir coating to the surface of the body itself by tlie same proceas as tliat which produces au electrotype plate. The method is briefly this: The body Is washed witli alcohol and sprinkled witli fine jrraphite powder, to iiiBiire the perfect condin-tion of electiicity. It is then placed in a batli óf metallic solution coutaining a jiiece of the metal to be uwd; to thi.s is attached the. positive pole ot a stroug battery ; tlie negative pole is applied lo the corpse, and a line film of metal at once begiDt to cover the body peifectly and evenly. This may be kept up until thr coat Ing attains any desired thickuess. To this process theie would seem to be no valid objection. In eft'ect it traiisfonns the corpse into .1 beautiful statue- forni, leatures, and even expression, beinir peifectly preserveil. The body being heruu-tically sealed vvithiu its metal inclosure, merely dries up and assumes the aspect of a muinuiy. Tliis method obviates inany objections which have been urged agaiust creiiiation, and at tlie saine time nieets the wishes of those whose sentiment, if üotliing else, inclines ihein to favor the ordinary way of burinl. The feellng ut the desecration of tlie human forni divine, whlch lts reduotion to u handful of ashea causes to raany people, Is entirely done away with, a-i 110 rude hand is laiil upon the once-loved form. No clmngc is brought about In appearance excejit that face and figure are covered with ashlning veil, through which the familiar lineaments apear witli all their well-remcm bered characteristics and exnression. -


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News