ever since I saw the original version of The Vanishing I have had a fear of waking up in a coffin, buried under several feet of earth, because some gung ho medico signed my death certificate too early. it seems I’m not alone in this fear. at the very least I’d want to be buried with a phalanx of tools to get myself out though cremation is my preferred option.
in 1843 Christian Eisenbrandt of Baltimore, patented a spring loaded coffin lid. “—-Whereas there have been instances of human beings having been buried alive, the inventor of this coffin has contrived an arrangement whereby anyone who may not really have departed this life may by the slightest motion of either the head or hand acting upon a system of springs and levers cause the instantaneous opening of the coffin lid.”
25 years later, Franz Vester of Newark patented this bell system. The nature of this invention consists in placing on the lid of the coffin, and directly over the face of the body laid therein, a square tube which extends from the coffin up through and over the surface of the grave, said tube containing a ladder and a cord, one end of the cord being placed in the hand of the person laid in the coffin and the other end of said cord being attached to a bell on the top of the square tube, so that, should a person be interred ere life is extinct, he can, on recovery to consciousness, ascend from the grave by the ladder, or if not able to ascend by said ladder, ring the bell, thereby giving an alarm and thus saving himself.”
M.C.H. Nicolle, of France, patented a somewhat bizarre coffin signal in 1899, in which a hammer is released by movement of the corpse, swinging down and breaking a glass window directly over the head, allowing air to enter the previously sealed coffin. The alarm is simply the sound of the breaking glass, since the device is used only before burial. If anyone ever did wake from a trance in one of these coffins and lift their heads, the result would appear to be a face full of broken glass followed by a blow from the falling hammer
since most of the illustrations for today’s post feature skeletons I might as well run with it
this guy also likes skulls. he posted images of a new one every day for a year and now invites reader’s submissions. a great russian site I found has some really beautiful images, hard to pick a favourite but perhaps this one which includes whorled shell shapes
and Tontenkopf make the coolest toaster ever