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Giovanni Aldini (1762 - 1834) - The real Frankenstein.
Whilst Luigi Galvani was experimenting with frogs legs, his enthusiastic disciple and nephew Giovanni Aldini took things one stage further and toured Europe giving theatrical demonstrations of electrical experiments using ox heads and human corpses.
His most famous performance was 'the London Experiment'.
In 1803 the convicted murderer, George Forster, was hanged at Newgate. After an hour his body was removed from the gallows and handed to Aldini...
"Galvanism was communicated by means of three troughs combined together, each of which contained forty plates of zinc, and as many of copper. On the first application of the arcs the jaw began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, and the left eye actually opened."
As the experiment proceeded, Forster's clenched fist rose in the air. Then his legs started to kick violently and his back arched. Many spectators believed he was actually being restored to life.
Aldini was also one of the first to treat mental illness with a shock to the brain.
In 1891 a French surgeon called Varlot electroplated the dead.
He exposed the body to silver nitrate to make it conductive, then immersed it in a galvanic bath of copper sulphate, producing a 'brilliant red copper finish of exceptional strength and durability'.
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