Embalming Facilities Discovered at Famous Egyptian Site.
Archaeologists have revealed yet more about Saqqara, the sweeping Ancient Egyptian burial complex. #Archaeology #Egypt #Embalming #Mummification
Today's Flickr photo with the most hits: this Fayoum mummy portrait of a young Roman who died in the 2nd CE.
#fayoum #MummyPortrait #mummy #death #embalming #remembrance #coffin #FayoumOasis #roman #youth #portrait #encaustic #painting #egypt
National Titanic Remembrance Day 🚢🪦
It’s been 111 years since the Titanic sunk on April 15, 1912. Of the approximately 2240 passengers and crew on board, over 1500 died that day.
The White Star Line chartered four ships to help retrieve bodies of victims: the Mackay-Bennett, CS Minia, CGS Montmagny, and SS Algerine. They only managed to recover about 330 bodies, about 23% of the number who died.
The recovery ships were loaded with undertakers, embalming supplies, coffins, ice, canvas bags, and iron bars. First Class victims were embalmed and stored in coffins. Second and Third Class victims were embalmed (while they still had supplies), then wrapped in canvas. Crew members were put on ice. Some victims were misidentified as being from a higher class: in moments of desperation, they pillaged the abandoned First Class cabins for warm clothing.
Bodies that were unidentifiable, either from disfigurement or decomposition, were buried at sea in canvas shrouds weighted with iron bars. Others were buried at sea simply due to the shortage of embalming chemicals, as there were rules against bringing unembalmed bodies ashore (the rule was temporarily waived shortly after). Clergy conducted brief services for these unfortunates before casting them back into the water. Most were lower class or crew members, as the First Class were given preferential treatment. It was justified since they were “wealthy men with large estates to be settled.”
Of the 330 or so bodies recovered, 119 were buried at sea. The rest were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The VIP bodies went to the local undertaker’s parlor. Everyone else went to the temporary morgue at the Mayflower Curling Rink. Bodies were embalmed in a screened area (a woman embalmed the deceased women and children), then placed on platforms for identification. One undertaker collapsed in shock as he discovered the body of his own uncle among the dead.
59 bodies were claimed by their families. 150 were buried in three Halifax cemeteries, including 42 who remain unidentified.
#HisAndHearsePress #Titanic #NationalTitanicRemembranceDay #Funeral #History #Embalming #DisasterManagement #MortuaryScience
#WordyWednesday: Gravity Embalming
An old-timey method of embalming that predates electricity but can still be used in a pinch today.
A large glass jar is suspended over the body with a hose leading to a large artery. Embalming fluid flows into the body at a very slow and steady rate.
Raising the height of the jar increases the pressure (approximately 0.43 pounds of pressure per foot of height above the injection site).
#HisAndHearsePress #Embalming #MortuaryScience #MortuarySchool #Embalmer #Undertaker #Mortician #FuneralDirector #Gravity
From the Egyptian "Book of the Dead" - Hall of Judgment
Shay, God of #Fate who determines the the life span of humans
Anubis, Lord of #Embalming
Thoth, here as #Scribe of the Gods
#Papyrus Ani, ca. 1250 BC, #Egypt
#WyrdWednesday #ancientmagic #BookOfTheDead #Egyptian #Shay #Anubis #Thoth #Egyptology
#FuneralFactFriday: Bodies Can Turn GREEN 🍀
Yes, it’s true, and not just on St. Patrick’s Day. It happens when a person with jaundice is embalmed using high index formaldehyde fluids.
Jaundice is a yellow discoloration found in both living and dead people. It's caused by a buildup of bile pigments in the skin, eyes, bodily fluids, and tissue, often resulting from problems with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. A person with liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis is often yellow tinged.
During embalming, formaldehyde can change the yellow bilirubin into green biliverdin. It can range from mild to moderate to extreme. Special embalming fluids (like glutaraldehyde) exist to help mitigate the color issues, but the primary concern is preservation. Color correction is secondary. If the color can’t be addressed with proper fluids and internal dyes, we can use cosmetics and colored lighting to help mask the green.
Fun fact: old school embalmers perpetuated a belief that we could flush jaundiced bodies with milk before injecting embalming fluid. That’s just preposterous. Don’t do that!
#HisAndHearsePress #StPatricksDay #Green #StPaddysDay #StPattysDay #WearGreen #Jaundice #Embalming #MortuaryScience #MortuarySchool #Formaldehyde #Glutaraldehyde #Funeral
#FuneralFactFriday: Catheters, Ostomies, Casts, & Halos
(yes, I'm continuing the "cat" theme, don't @ me)
All kinds of people die, in all kinds of conditions. Some die mid-repair. Hospitals provide treatment with the assumption their patient will live. If the patient dies anyways, the body can be left with remnants of the treatments. This leads to surprises for embalmers when we open the body bags.
We see common things like tracheostomies, breathing tubes, IVs, colostomies, surgical staples, pacemakers, and urinary catheters (which are all easily removed) and unusual things like halo braces (which have pins that are attached to the skull), surgical drains that end in grenade-like bulb reservoirs, orthopedic casts, and intraosseous IVs (a brutal looking needle that gets jammed into the bone marrow through the shin bone).
We don't have the specialized tools that hospitals use to remove some of these, so we basically figure it out on our own. Once the medical devices are removed and disposed of, we fix the resulting holes or incisions. First we treat them with chemicals, almost cauterizing them. We can fill them with absorbent preservative powders and cotton, then suture them closed. A layer of sealer can be applied on top, and if there's still a risk of leakage, we can supplement with Saran wrap or plastic garments concealed beneath the clothing.
#HisAndHearsePress #Embalming #Embalmer #MortuaryScience #MortuarySchool #MedicalInterventions #Death #Funeral
Forget all that informative and educational funeral stuff I post… who wants to see more pics of this dumpling of a cat?!? 🐈⬛
Follow me on my book writing journey that is getting sidetracked by ***Kitten Watch 2023***
(And yes, that is a meat blanket. A blanket that looks like a side of beef 🥩)
#HisAndHearsePress #Funeral #Embalming #AmWriting #Cat #KittenWatch #IShouldBeWriting #AdoptDontShop #SpayAndNeuter #MortuaryScience #Catstodon #CatsOfMastodon #Caturday #CaturdayEveryday #EveryDayIsCaturday
Not all embalming chemicals are liquid! Formaldehyde and other accessory chemicals come in powders and gels too.
My favorite is a product with the awesome name "Viscerock," which dries, firms, and preserves tissue (especially in autopsied cases).
It's also the name of my future death metal band 🤘🏻
#HisAndHearsePress #Embalming #MortuaryScience #MortuarySchool #Embalmer #Formaldehyde #FormaldehydeFree #Viscerock #DodgeChemicalCompany #ThanksThatsMyBandNameNow
February 14 isn't just Valentine's Day. It's also National Donor Day, which is an observance dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation.
I advocate for organ and tissue donation whenever I can, despite the extra work it causes for embalmers. It's worth it. A single donor has the potential to save or improve *75* lives!
The absence of an organ in your grave means the presence of life in another person. Learn more about how it works, plus dispel myths and misconceptions here: https://www.louisepachella.com/blog/seasonofgiving
USA readers, register as a donor here: https://www.donatelife.net/
#HisAndHearsePress #DonateLife #ShareTheLove #NationalDonorDay #OrganDonation #TissueDonation #ValentinesDay #Embalming #Funeral #DeathPositive
#WordyWednesday: Aneurysm Hook
A stainless-steel embalming instrument for digging through muscles and tissue to find arteries and veins. About seven inches long, it has a handle and a blunted or tapered point on the hook end. Some designs feature a wavy handle to slip underneath and hold arteries up. The hook end is used to dissect through and scrape off tissues that hold arteries and veins in place.
Aneurysm hooks are usually used in pairs and can also be helpful multipurpose tools during embalming. They're also known as aneurysm needles.
Apprentices and mortuary science students are sometimes gifted an engraved aneurysm hook upon completion of their training. Unfortunately, I was not a lucky recipient. I'm not salty about it. Nope. Not at all. I'm fine.
#HisAndHearsePress #Embalming #Funeral #Mortician #MortuarySchool #MortuaryScience #Vocabulary #ToolsOfTheTrade
It's #NationalShowerWithAFriendDay! 🛁
If showering with a friend is impractical in the confines of your bathroom (or you just don't want to see your friend naked), consider using an emergency drench shower!
These safety gadgets are found in embalming rooms to quickly rinse off formaldehyde or other dangerous chemicals that have splashed onto the embalmer's skin.
Don't stay in too long though - drench showers are plumbed into cold or tepid water only.
#HisAndHearsePress #Shower #ShowerTime #DrenchShower #OSHA #Safety #Eyewash #Formaldehyde #Embalming #HazMat
Surprising mummy ingredients found at ancient Egyptian workshop - The Washington Post
#WordyWednesday: Mouth Former
A thin piece of shaped plastic used to recreate the proper contour of a mouth in the event of missing teeth/dentures or other disfiguration. The plastic lays against the gums and beneath the closed lips. They can be trimmed for a better fit.
Note the little raised triangle perforations: those are to lightly snag the tissue inside the lips and hold everything in place. The tiny round holes are for strings or wires to pass through and secure the jaws together.
Sometimes dentures are provided by the family, but if they haven't been worn in a long time, they often don't fit well. Mouth formers are more forgiving. Other times dentures are brought in *after* the mouth has already been closed. Those dentures usually end up inside the foot of the casket or under the casket pillow.
#HisAndHearsePress #FuneralFacts #Embalming #MortuaryScience #Embalmer #Mortician #DeathPositive #Funeral
#FuneralFactFriday: Bras Aren't Mandatory
Don't want to wear a bra for eternity? No problem! Just let your family know your wishes (and obviously, threaten to haunt them if they don't listen). Embalmers may give suggestions about the most ideal clothing for a family to bring in, but we're more concerned about concealing unpleasant things than about style or impropriety. Most of us will happily dress you in your ensemble of choice. Pajamas, superhero costume, formal business suit with lacey silk undies beneath - it's all good!
Back to the bra situation. We have ways of securing chest parts so they don't end up in your armpits. Duct tape holds everything in place during embalming, then the tissue firms into place and stays put. Weird spots can be filled in with cotton fluff, or my personal favorite: if a woman's clothes include shoulder pads, I remove them (otherwise she'll look like a football player in the casket), then I tuck the shoulder pads into the bra or over the chest area for a smooth curve.
Back in the day, some embalmers used a giant needle and string to suture the chest parts together! Ugh...barbaric. Nowadays, we have more women embalmers and more creative solutions.
Got implants? We leave them alone. There's no need for us to mess with them. If you're cremated, they'll burn up with you. If you're buried, there's no predictable way to know exactly how they'll outlast your embalmed but slowly decomposing body. So, that meme with the implants on top of a skeletal rib cage? If your skin, muscles, and other tissues are gone, then any surviving silicone ball will likely just slide or roll down to the sides of the casket.
#HisAndHearsePress #Funeral #Embalming #Mortician #Bra #Underwear #Lingerie #GhostOutfit #Implants #Boobs #Bewbs #BreastImplants #FunFact
The "index" is the strength of embalming fluid, measured by the grams of pure formaldehyde gas dissolved in 100 milliliters of water. It's kind of like measuring the proof of alcohol; some people need stronger mixtures than others.
The index of the fluid in the manufacturer's bottle is different from the index of the solution we inject into the body. Typically, two or three 16 oz. bottles of embalming fluid are mixed with water and miscellaneous accessory chemicals (water conditioners, humectants etc.), resulting in about three gallons of solution (varies by body).
The formula used to calculate the final strength/index of the mixed solution is loathed by mortuary science students everywhere: C x V = C' x V'
#HisAndHearsePress #Embalming #Chemistry #Formaldehyde #Index #Vocab #Vocabulary #MortuaryScience #Potions #PotionsClass
#WordyWednesday: Needle Injector
(A day late, but Mastodon wouldn't upload my pic yesterday)
A stainless-steel tool used to facilitate a mouth closure on a dead person. The tool drives a small barb into the jawbone through the gums (one goes into the upper jaw, one goes into the lower jaw), then the thin wires attached to each barb are twisted together. Not a great tool for embalmers with tiny hands. (I prefer to suture the mouth closed from the inside)
#HisAndHearsePress #Embalmer #Embalming #NeedleInjector #SurgicalInstruments #Mortician #Funeral #ToolsOfTheTrade #Tools #Words #Vocab #Vocabulary
***Rare vintage embalming book***
Reminiscences of Early Embalming by J. H. Clarke
The Sunnyside, New York, 1917
(read it at the link below!)
Joseph Henry Clarke, born in 1840 in Indiana, began his studies in anatomy and chemistry. He attended a medical college until he was called to serve in the Civil War. After the war, he became a bookkeeper and salesman for a coffin company.
As he interviewed undertakers about preservation, he was driven to experiment with embalming. He and a colleague began training embalmers in 1882, and Clarke eventually founded the Cincinnati College of Embalming in 1899. It was arguably the first mortuary school established in the United States. The school is still in operation today, giving Clarke the distinction of being the "founder of American embalming schools."
Clarke's reminiscences were published at the time of his death in 1917, but few copies of the book remain today. The archives staff at the Cal State East Bay University Library graciously agreed to scan the entire book at my request and make the PDF available online.
You may download and read it at http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/224456 (using this link allows them to track usage, and I want to repay their kindness by sending lots of traffic their way!)
#HisAndHearsePress #MortuarySchool #MortuaryScience #Embalming #CivilWar #Undertakers #CSUEB #CCMS #History #HistoryLesson #CSUEastBayLibrary #CincinnatiCollegeOfMortuaryScience #LibrariansRock #ILoveLibrarians #LibrariansRunTheWorld
Hello! I'm Louise Pachella, the mastermind behind His & Hearse Press. I'm a licensed funeral director, embalmer, writer, and death educator.
I love answering questions and helping people understand all things death and funeral related. My specialty is teaching authors to write accurately.
Ask me anything! I'm here in a social and educational capacity.
I'm also a fanatical book reader, a welder, a demolition derby driver, a mom, a dinosaur owner, and a trash cat lover.
#Introduction #Introductions #Welcome #Newbie #Funeral #Death #DeathPositive #Embalming #Education #MortuaryScience #Writing #WritingCommunity #Author #WritingTips #Bookwyrm #Bookstodon #NiceToMeetYou
Egyptologists translate the oldest-known mummification manual - Enlarge (credit: University of Copenhagen)
Egyptologists have recently translated the oldest-know... - https://arstechnica.com/?p=1747817 #mummification #ancientegypt #archaeology #egyptology #embalming #science #mummies #papyrus