The 1800s were a time of renaissance in the medical field. Anasthesia came into widespread use, the cleanliness of operating rooms was finally made a priority, germ theory replaced spontaneous generation theory or “the vapors”, and vaccines for a variety of plagues were developed. Despite this, determining if someone was dead or alive seemed to be problematic at times and there were several cases of people being buried alive. Luckily, enterprising people like Christian Henry Eisenbrandt of Baltimore, MD were there to make sure those buried alive didn’t have to endure a grueling, lonely death with his invention of “A life-preserving coffin in doubtful cases of death”.
Of course, it probably wouldn’t work too well if six feet of dirt were on top of it.
[Image Credit: US National Archives via Retronaut]