Mummies In West Virginia?
In 1888, local businessman and inventor Graham Hamrick created an embalming process that proved to be much safer than the current mixture of arsenic and mercury. His salt peter and sulfur process eventually won a US patent. But the journey proved to be strange and somewhat bizarre. After successfully testing his mixture on fruit and animals, Hamrick was ready for human experiments. He asked officials at The Weston State Hospital for the Insane for any unclaimed cadavers. Hamrick performed his embalming process on 2 female cadavers, at the hospital and was successful in preserving the bodies. He went on to become very successful in the embalming business. The 2 original mummies still exist, and are on display at the Barbour County Historical Society Museum in Philippi. They are kept in a back room, and a one dollar donation is required to see them. There are several other articles of historical significance in the museum, but none as interesting as the mummies.
FOR MORE INFORMATIONBarbour County Historical Society Museum
Person Interviewed: Susie Lambert
Title: Museum Currator
Location: Barbour County, West Virginia
Address: 200 North Main Street Philippi, WV 26418
Phone: 304 457-4846
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