A True Natural Look

Posted in Book Reports, Religion, The Death Penalty, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 31, 2013

This feature is about what happens to a person in the time between death and funeralization. Some people might find this feature to be in bad taste. If you are one of these people, you are encouraged to skip the text, and enjoy the pictures from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Funeral homes like to talk about service to the community. In Toledo OH recently, a funeral home greeter went a bit further. This is not one of the 13 Things the Funeral Director Won’t Tell You.

British writer Jessica Mitford went into more detail in her essay, Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain.
“Embalming is routinely performed on the recently departed, even though it is not required by law or religious custom. “The author concludes that unless the family specifies otherwise, the act of entrusting the body to the care of a funeral establishment carries with it an implied permission to go ahead and embalm.”
The copy of the Formaldehyde Curtain used today is from Hartland High School . In the study notes, it says
“First, in Mitford’s piece, carefully focus on allusion, verbs, irony, direct address, and tone. Second, reflect on your notes and thoughts; think aloud on paper; reconsider your notes; ask questions; and think about your thinking.” This essay is possibly an excerpt from Ms. Mitford’s underground classic, The American Way of Death
The essay gets off to a rip roaring start.
“The drama begins to unfold with the arrival of the corpse at the mortuary. Alas, poor Yorick! How surprised he would be to see how his counterpart of today is whisked off to a funeral parlor and is in short order sprayed, sliced, pierced, pickled, trussed, trimmed, creamed, waxed, painted, rouged, and neatly dressed-transformed from a common corpse into a Beautiful Memory Picture.”
The first step is no surprise.
Mr. John H. Eckels, president of the Eckels College of Mortuary Science, thus describes the first part of the embalming procedure: “In the hands of a skilled practitioner, this work may be done in a comparatively short time and without mutilating the body other than by slight incision-so slight that it scarcely would cause serious inconvenience if made upon a living person. It is necessary to remove the blood, and doing this not only helps in the disinfecting, but removes the principal cause of disfigurements due to discoloration.” In olden times, many people feared premature burial … being lowered into the ground without first expiring. With the removal of blood, and other soft tissue, this possibility is eliminated.
Once the blood has been drained, embalming fluid is pumped into the arteries and veins. One supplier is Hydrol Funeral Supply Company. Their catalog offers Co/Preinjection Fluids, Arterial Fluids, Cavity Fluids, Specialty Fluids, and Embalming Fluid Dyes.

One arterial fluid is Velva Glo.
“Velva-Glo offers the maximum of perfection in cosmetic and preserving results. It is formulated to give a flexible body with minimum rigidity. Velva-Glo is not a non-hardening fluid, but so designed that minimum firmness and maximum preservation is obtained. Velva-Glo’s slow action permits full distribution of the fluid before the tissues are set, insuring thorough saturation. Velva-Glo is absolutely non-coagulating. An interesting feature of this fluid is its action on the blood. Harsh, quick-acting fluids lose their potency or power after contact with the blood for several hours. This is because the formaldehyde is consumed. With Velva-Glo, tests which we have made show the formaldehyde maintains its full power after days of contact with blood, while such tests made with harsh, quick-acting fluids show the formaldehyde entirely disappears. Velva-Glo is a non-desiccating, non-burning fluid which offers the utmost in perfect embalming. While Velva-Glo is desirable for all cases, it produces exceptional results when used for women and children.”
Ms. Mitford mentions a dye, Lyf-Lyk tint.
“Lyf-Lyk Tint is easily applied with a brush. It spreads evenly and dries quickly, leaving a natural, porous, velvety appearance. Seven specially developed shades enable you to provide the proper complexion for each individual case. Lyf-Lyk Tint leaves a permanent finish that is an ideal base for powder or rouge. It is not affected by weather and will not streak or fade. It may be applied over wax or face covering. The tint is resistant to handling, but may be removed if necessary with a soft damp cloth.”
“The next step is to have at Mr. Jones with a thing called a trocar. This is a long, hollow needle attached to a tube. It is jabbed into the abdomen, poked around the entrails and chest cavity, the contents of which are pumped out and replaced with “cavity fluid.” This done, and the hole in the abdomen sewn up, Mr. Jones’s face is heavily creamed (to protect the skin from burns which may be caused by leakage of the chemicals), and he is covered with a sheet and left unmolested for a while. But not for long-there is more, much more, in store for him. He has been embalmed, but not yet restored, and the best time to start the restorative work is eight to ten hours after embalming, when the tissues have become firm and dry.”

Some of the cavity fluids are HYPOST, CAVAMINE, NITROL, SUPER-50, CAVICEL, HYTEK, THOROL, and TISS-U-TONE. Of the latter, the catalog says
“Tiss-U-Tone humectant is an accessory embalming chemical which modifies or softens the action of embalming fluid, acts as an internal tissue filler in emaciated cases and, when used externally as a massage, prevents excessive dehydration of the skin. …Tiss-U-Tone will build up the average body but where sunken spots appear around eyes and temples, HYDROL TISSUE BUILDER, injected hypodermically, should be used after embalming is completed. Tiss-U-Tone contains no formaldehyde. Tiss-U-Tone, because of its wide external use, has been made with a delightful odor which imparts a pleasing scent to the embalming room. “
Eight to ten hours after embalming, the staff prepares “Mr. Jones” for viewing. Again, a variety of chemicals and tools are available to help. An example would be HY-GLO MORTUARY COSMETICS Hy-Glo Base Cream – Blush.
“Here is a line of mortuary cosmetics unsurpassed for their NATURAL LOOK. With Hy-Glo Cosmetics, there is no need for powders, paints, special lighting or last minute touch-ups. Hy-Glo Cosmetics dry instantly, do not rub off on white shirts, dresses or casket-liners yet are water soluble and easily removed. They do not distort skin texture, but do give it the full color of life. This dramatically effective cosmetic result is achieved by first using Hy-Glo Sealer Cream. When lightly applied, the cream leaves a flexible microfilm on the skin which positively prevents the passage of air through the skin tissue, and maintains skin texture in a natural permanent state without dehydration.
One of the Hy-Glo base colors is then selected and if necessary blended with the #4 Hy-Glo tints to achieve a perfect color match. The cosmetic is applied evenly and sparingly with a short bristle brush and dries instantly. The result is a clear microscopic film which is permanent and undetectable. A small amount of #5 Hy-Glo Hilite brushed on the chin, cheeks, ears, nose and eyelids completes the job. The Hy-Glo Kit also contains shaving cream which utilizes the same microfilm principle to allow the razor to glide over the skin, eliminating razor burn entirely. No powders are necessary because the amazing Hy-Glo Cosmetics leave a true NATURAL LOOK.”

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