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Re: mummies??

>Where were these trains? and why did they use mummies for fuel?  Where can I
>read about this? (or find references to pass on to a friend's teenage son?)
>Thanks in advance for any info,
>Suzanne Denker

One account is in Dard Hunter's _Papermaking: The History and Technique
of an Ancient Craft_, where he mentions one account telling how:

"... during a ten year period the locomotives of Egypt made use of no
other fuel than that furnished by the well-wrapped, compact mummies,
the supply of which was thought at the time to be almost unlimited."

Pp. 382-85, of the Dover reprint discusses paper made from linen
winding sheets taken from mummies, a cholera epidemic, etc.

A brief description of mummy pigment is given in Ralph Mayer's, _The
Artist's Handbook_

As to why use them as fuel, even fresh bodies burn hot, and these were
well dried and also contained gums & resins which also burn hot.

There will be more information in many histories of railroading, esp.
in Egypt.  Some connection with Napoleon's conquest of Egypt also wells
up out of the soup which passes for my mind, but it is not clear enough
to quote; it does not relate to the creation of the Bulaq Press.

A project for your friend's teenage son?


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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