" Dr. Scollay's Deodorizing Burial Case ", ' A Most Useful Invention '

JPK Huson 1863

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funeral napoleon.JPG

Napoleon's casket was drawn to his final burial by 16 black horses , December 15, 1840. There were no horses swift enough to transport war's dead from far-off hospitals and battlefields, to less illustrious graves. Dr. Scollay thought he had the answer.

If this is the wrong forum, @lelliott19 , please feel free to move it? Information from the Sanitary Commission, discussing a ' burial case ' used for burials from hospitals?

As usual, looking for something else, tripped over this- as ghoulish a topic as it may be. War advanced medicine ( and the weaponry making the medical advances necessary, head spinning irony ), and also stimulated inventors to rack creative brains for other means of earning government contracts.

coffin scollay 1.JPG

coffin scollay 2.JPG


The Western Sanitary Commission used the word ' useful ' in connection with a coffin. We've seen patents for coffins- before embalming was around, ' buried alive ' stories freaked us all out to the point where we'd shell out a gazillion bucks for a casket accessorized with bells. You could ring it, if you woke up dead, notifying someone not buried you should not have been.

Dr. Scollay's Deodorizing Coffin Or Burial Case , was the official tag and a terrific description. We loved our science and anything sounding as if science was involved was a big hit. It was intended to fill a need, wish I could find if it ' worked '. Men dying in hospitals and on battlefields were frequently far from home. Loved ones wishing to bury them in their own towns were faced with gruesome reality- it wasn't possible.

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coffin san comm book 2.JPG


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One city did buy and use Dr. Scollay's useful invention at hospitals to the exclusion of any other . The Western Sanitary Commission was so enthusiastic over it, they sent it to Washington, DC where the Surgeon General not only approved but recommended Dr. Scollay's Deodorizing Coffin Or Burial Case be put into army-wide use. That seems as far as it went- Quartermaster General declined to purchase them.

san com coffin.jpg

You'd like to let inventors off the hook, hoping that filling a sad need for families was the impetus to a lot of these inventions. I don't know. The more you read of fortunes made from government contracts during the war, the tougher it is.
 

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lelliott19

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If this is the wrong forum, @lelliott19 , please feel free to move it? Information from the Sanitary Commission, discussing a ' burial case ' used for burials from hospitals?
I think this is the perfect forum for this post. Thanks for taking the time to share the article and the image. Its certainly a fascinating subject and I enjoyed reading it very much.

I ran across a fascinating article the other day in a Savannah newspaper about the use of sawdust inside coffins in which remains were being shipped home. Have you ever heard of the coffin being packed with sawdust? What would have been the purpose of packing the coffin with sawdust?
 
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You'd like to let inventors off the hook, hoping that filling a sad need for families was the impetus to a lot of these inventions. I don't know. The more you read of fortunes made from government contracts during the war, the tougher it is.
My thoughts exactly, Annie, and not much has changed. A very fascinating post.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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I think this is the perfect forum for this post. Thanks for taking the time to share the article and the image. Its certainly a fascinating subject and I enjoyed reading it very much.

I ran across a fascinating article the other day in a Savannah newspaper about the use of sawdust inside coffins in which remains were being shipped home. Have you ever heard of the coffin being packed with sawdust? What would have been the purpose of packing the coffin with sawdust?

It's a good thing I skip breakfast- guessing @Yankeedave is right? And YIKES is right- you know, out of all topics that would send me poking around to investigate, think I'm happier not knowing if one ever exploded? Holy gee whiz, what a dreadful thought.

Is it ok to guess this er, innovation would have been before embalming came into use? Just thought of that. Maybe a reason Rufus Ingalls turned down a contract?
 
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#9
https://www.ranker.com/list/coffin-liquor-distillation-process/lisa-a-flowers

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7b775g/how-to-avoid-being-an-exploding-corpse-814

The use of sawdust would be to soak up fluids I am sure, to soak up the corpse liquor. I have seen this stuff. Maybe never would leak from the coffin, but why take the, sawdust would soak it up. Yep coffins explode even today. Try to avoid them burying you above ground. Not a pleasant subject, but it is a reality. Something you can run into in certain archaeology instances, part of the work. Never ever volunteer to help in moving a cemetery, Not pleasant at all. It is done too often in the world of today, let's move a cemetery, we are going to build more houses. It happened in Memphis the cemetery contained over 350,000 burials, plus the unknown burials. A lot of the older graves were an adventure into archaeology.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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, Not pleasant at all. It is done too often in the world of today, let's move a cemetery, we are going to build more houses.

Makes you hope those insisting an entire cemetery be moved got themselves haunted. Cemeteries are kind of an unwritten deal we make, respecting lives who went before us in the knowledge ours will be, too. Families who had to leave loved one behind in a plot and walk away one day are not here any more to object, either.

Bet a gajillion bucks no one told buyers of new houses what was the old address to the property.
 


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