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Author Topic: Electroplating The Dead (clearly not for the squeamish)  (Read 17083 times)
Johnny Payphone
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« on: April 11, 2007, 12:50:21 am »

From "Victorian Inventions" by Leonard De Vries, 1971.



Dr Varlot, a surgeon in a major hospital in Paris, has developed a method of covering the body of a deceased person with a layer of metal in order to preserve it for eternity.  The drawing illustrates how this is done with the cadaver of a child.  The body is first made electrically conductive by atomising nitrate of silver on to it.  To free the silver in this solution, the object is placed under a glass dome from which the air is evacuated and exposed to the vapours of white phosphorous dissolved in carbon disulphide.  Having been made conductive, the body is immersed in a galvanic bath of sulphate of copper, thus causing a 1 millimetre thick layer of metallic copper to be deposited on the skin.  The result is a brilliant red copper finish of exceptional strength and durability.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 08:48:52 pm by Johnny Payphone » Logged

Steampunk life in the living world:
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Lasairfion
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 12:55:33 am »

Interesting idea. For myself I did consider a giant bottle full of alcohol instead of a coffin. Like a ship in a bottle, but a body instead. Wouldn't the stomach acid rot the corpse under the metal plating or even cause damage to the metal? I heard that stomach acid can go through iron and steel.

Personally though I prefer the idea of crushing the body into a diamond and having it set in a ring or other piece of jewellery.
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Darksmith
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 12:59:54 am »

Nifty find indeed. Would have been cool if this had caught on more, but the thought of the size glass dome to spray the nitrate of silver on a full grown body is an obvious reason as to why it didn't.
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 01:22:53 am »

Possibly the most Steampunk thing I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.
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phineas sheridan
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 01:43:23 am »

i want to see an example of this process.........
it seems like it would be beautiful
perfect copper bodies.......


d
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 01:58:37 am »

Ha! Excellent, that made me laugh out loud.

Reminds me of that Bodies exhibition, except i think i might rather see electroplated dead people than acetone-soaked silicone-pumped vaccuum-packed dead people.

http://www.bodiestheexhibition.com/bodies.html

 Huh
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JD_McKenna
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 02:24:04 am »

Interesting, but incredibly morbid
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kiskolou
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 03:08:29 am »

Ooh! Let's make a steampunk version of goldfinger, and have Copperfinger do this to that girl that gets painted gold!
"I'd like some abinthe, not shaken or stirred."
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WisconsinPlatt
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 05:01:36 pm »

I'm changing my will.  That is how I want to be remembered.  Nice relaxed pose, maybe laying down on one side with my head propped up...you know...something suitable for placing on the mantle.

Smiley
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NazT
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 06:26:18 pm »

Ooh! Let's make a steampunk version of goldfinger, and have Copperfinger do this to that girl that gets painted gold!
"I'd like some abinthe, not shaken or stirred."
  BRILLIANT!  Grin
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Adml. Etherington
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 07:18:49 pm »

I'm changing my will.  That is how I want to be remembered.  Nice relaxed pose, maybe laying down on one side with my head propped up...you know...something suitable for placing on the mantle.

Smiley

I almost sprayed soda on my monitor. thanks. Shocked

This is fascinating. I've long been intrigued by the dead-person-diamond business.

do you put the bronzed shoes back on the child after copper-plating them?
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chicar
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 09:22:12 pm »

Oh...Oh...i see it now

''Cemetery of the futur: the time of sinister tombstone is end, Now the modern cemetery is a outdoor bronze statue gallery dedicated to our lost''

And if someone become a vampire in this conditions. '' attack of the armored vampire''.

Is a good way also to give a little self defense to the frankenstein monster.
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
WisconsinPlatt
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 09:27:03 pm »


do you put the bronzed shoes back on the child after copper-plating them?

 Grin

WAA
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Charleson Mambo
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2007, 01:53:08 am »

Galvanic Zombies!

"By Jove! Dr. Dooley did you see that! Those copperplated zombies just sucked up the ætheric waves from my Manmelter! And it was set at full power!"

"What!, you fool!" said Dr Dooley darkly, "I distinctly remember instructing you not to fire that contraption of yours at those shambling revenants. Because,..."

"Because their copper plating had turned them into walking Leyden jars." the young soldier replied abashedly.

"And any energy they absorb will only serve to reinforce their unnaturally reinitialized galvanic response!"

"Cor! doctor, you were right, they're really shambling now! They're almost half way up the stairs!"

"What! Blast this confounded lock! ... That was an order! Blast the lock!"


Charleson Mambo

(I actually went looking for the right surname for a Tom Swifty, sigh)


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Ragamuffin
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2007, 02:30:41 am »

Galvanic Zombies!

"By Jove! Dr. Dooley did you see that! Those copperplated zombies just sucked up the ætheric waves from my Manmelter! And it was set at full power!"

"What!, you fool!" said Dr Dooley darkly, "I distinctly remember instructing you not to fire that contraption of yours at those shambling revenants. Because,..."

"Because their copper plating had turned them into walking Leyden jars." the young soldier replied abashedly.

"And any energy they absorb will only serve to reinforce their unnaturally reinitialized galvanic response!"

"Cor! doctor, you were right, they're really shambling now! They're almost half way up the stairs!"

"What! Blast this confounded lock! ... That was an order! Blast the lock!"


Charleson Mambo

(I actually went looking for the right surname for a Tom Swifty, sigh)



Oh dear. I believe I smell the latest Steampunk Blockbuster.
i would go see it.
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Charleson Mambo
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2007, 02:58:36 am »

Quote
Galvanic Zombies!
Oh dear. I believe I smell the latest Steampunk Blockbuster.
i would go see it.

 Cheesy

I can get access to cast, crew, camera, editing equipment, and exotic locales...

it's the access to funding that keeps proving elusive.  Cry


Charleson Mambo

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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2007, 03:07:06 am »

Quote
Galvanic Zombies!
Oh dear. I believe I smell the latest Steampunk Blockbuster.
i would go see it.

 Cheesy

I can get access to cast, crew, camera, editing equipment, and exotic locales...

it's the access to funding that keeps proving elusive.  Cry
Oh come now--we all know a budget only hurts a zombie flick Grin
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Charleson Mambo
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Cyberpunk is a Hello Kitty claymore mine.


« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2007, 03:10:49 am »

Oh come now--we all know a budget only hurts a zombie flick Grin

Well, yes.

(It's the young women in the abbreviated costumes* that get expensive.)

Charleson Mambo

(* that'd be the girls in bikinis)
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Fantômas
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« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2007, 05:57:51 am »

Ok...you've got my attention.....Electroplating the dead.....mmmmmm....yes...

And here I thought non-standard taxidermy was as good as it got.

I will have to try this...
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2007, 07:34:18 pm »

Obsession with death is a wonderful, rich part of Victorian society.  It was all around them.  Next time you see an old picture with a baby in it, look close- chances are the baby's dead.  Why else would you take a picture of it?



See this wonderful gallery:

http://ame2.asu.edu/projects/haunted/ISA%20index/book%20of%20the%20dead/book%20of%20the%20dead%20photos.htm

Given enough demand, I'm sure full-size electroplating would be done.  The article doesn't really say if this is a replacement for embalming- to be buried- or if these things will get set about the house.  Seems like the place would be crowded after a while.  I wouldn't mind becoming a bird bath in the garden, just plate me up holding a big bowl.
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kiskolou
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2007, 08:06:40 pm »

If the showing of cadavers becomes common on this forum, i suggest implimenting a feature into the forum where such pictures are hidden with a message' "show this picture". Press the button, you see the picture. I've seen this used in victorian forums, and it's a good precaution for the squemish. Personally, i'm fine with it, but to avoid conflict.
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2007, 08:48:36 pm »

If the showing of cadavers becomes common on this forum, i suggest implimenting a feature into the forum where such pictures are hidden with a message' "show this picture". Press the button, you see the picture. I've seen this used in victorian forums, and it's a good precaution for the squemish. Personally, i'm fine with it, but to avoid conflict.
Not a bad idea,though I should think that a thread title of "Electroplating the Dead" would be enough to deter those who are uncomfortable with such things...
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2007, 08:53:20 pm »

I've changed the title just to make it clear.

I don't particularly think that picture of the baby is gruesome, just a little sad, and if you didn't know the baby was dead you wouldn't glance twice at it.  Other pictures may get creepier when following links but I would hope people can exercise self-censorship when deciding to read this or any topic.  If we did it the other way- had the moderators censor any and everything that may offend any one person- the forum would be whittled down to the least exciting topics.

VonSlatt, this is your arena, you think you could rig up something like this?

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Tinkergirl
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2007, 09:02:08 pm »

It's all very well if you die young, whole and smoothe, but what about those who die of old age and/or violent means.  Would you manage to get the plating into all the nooks and crannies?  I wonder what'd happen to hair, too, or if you'd have to put wigs on them...

I do like the Steampunk, electroplated zombie idea though - Leyden jars, fantastic.  *chuckles*  Charge them up enough, and they can kick-start any fallen ones again!
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Herr Döktor
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2007, 09:35:28 pm »

There was a very black comedy film from the late 60s/early 70s that featured the plating of a corpse by a firm of crooked undertakers, so it could be used as a memorial to the deceased, and more recently, a south London artist was prosecuted for stealing bodies from a hospital mortuary, electroplating them, and calling them 'art'...

 I've got that De Vries book somewhere, I'll have to dig it out!
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