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A 1903 Proposal to Preserve the Dead in Glass Cubes

Joseph Karwowski, “Method of Preserving the Dead” (Washington, D.C.: United States Patent Office, 1903) (courtesy Corning Museum of Glass) Through embalming and sealed caskets advertised for “eternal rest,” the American funeral industry caters to our anxiety over bodily decay. In 1903, a Russian-born inventor in Herkimer, New York, named Joseph …

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