9. Bathing Apparatus, 1902
Not actually a method of displaying disembodied heads, the Bathing Apparatus turned an “ordinary bath-tub commonly found in houses” into a steam or vapor bath. Sounds great! Very relaxing. Except, of course, that you’re trapped in a tiny enclosed space with a “suitable vaporizing apparatus” which is more likely giving you third degree burns than it is any sense of serenity.
Because regular coffins left too much up to the imagination, and what they needed was to be tightly molded to the shape of the deceased, featuring a viewing window over the head, and with a tendency to explode.
“It will be seen that if the person buried should come to life a motion of his hands will turn the branches of the T-shaped pipe B […] and the cover E will turn and the index will show on the scale that it has been turned. If the person should turn in the coffin or make a violent motion, he will push the pipe B upward and push the cover off the top of the box. A supply of air enters the coffin through the pipe and will keep him alive till help arrives.”
Sweet dreams, everybody.
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