Reliquary Bust, 17th c., Stedelijk Museum Vander Kelen-Mertens, Leuven, Belgium.
Feejee Mermaid, 19th century—Though P.T. Barnum made the Feejee Mermaids famous, they were originally created in Japanese East Indies fishermen in around 1810. It was a traditional art form in which they created faux mermaids by stitching the upper bodies of apes to the bodies of fish. P.T. Barnum began exhibiting it in 1842, after a few other showmens’ exhibits failed. (Sources: 1, 2)
In an underground chamber beneath the Sansevero Chapel in Naples are two of Europe’s most grisly finds. Two skeletons, a man and a pregnant woman standing side by side, are encased in glass, both with their circulatory systems almost perfectly intact and exaggerated by color—blue for the veins and red for the arteries.
The “Machines” were created by 18th-century physician Giuseppe Salerno, and they’re two of the most perfectly preserved bodies in the world. But the coloring and the preserved circulatory system as a whole are a point of some debate. Some have said that although the skeletons are evidently real, the veins and arteries may not be; they may be a concoction of beeswax, iron wire, and silk. However, there are also those who believe in a rather spookier version of the story that says Salerno was a dark sorcerer who killed his victims by injecting them with a hardening agent in a process called “human metallization.” But the truth is, 250 years after the works were created, it’s impossible to say. One thing is for certain, though: whether these two bodies were embalmed for the purpose of study or locked in a show of viscera for more macabre purposes, these medical marvels were well ahead of their time.
Marion Peck – “Kittens”
Working with the aid of Pfc Jon L. Chevalier, Greenfield, MA, Capt Sanford S. Goldin, Cleveland, OH, uses his new power-driven drill to fix teeth of Pfc Robert D. Bostnick. The drill was made from a starter and two starter buttons of a German car and a jeep battery is used for power. The system provides 2 speeds and does away with the old foot driven drill. All men are with the 26th Division, U.S. 3rd Army, in Germany. 328th Division, Uberherrn, Germany. 02/23/1945