Haunted House Oddities
During the height of the British empire and the American civil war there were a large number of family members dying abroad and there was a need to preserve the bodies till they were able to get them home. The first embalming machines were quite simple using a pressure pot that was pressurized with billows, a gravity type system or a hand operated pump. Most of the embalming fluids at this time were based on arsenic, being very dangerous to both the embalmer and the water table after the bodies were buried. These were replaced after a German chemist ,named Hofmann, discovered formalin, or formaldehyde. With the invention of public electricity embalming pumps made another advance to the electric embalming pumps with the first production pumps around 1913. These early pumps are still very similar to the portable pumps that the military and field hospitals still use today. Since then the biggest advances to date is the self contained unit, most funeral homes today have these units today. You pour the formaldehyde in the tank on top and after setting up you hit the switch. no longer any need for separate jars and bottles with a maze of connecting tubes.