Joshua Foer is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Joshua is a freelance science journalist and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Dylan Thuras.
My wife and I are in the process of relocating from Brooklyn to New Haven. So far, the most tedious part of the move has been packing up the collection of death masks we acquired once upon a time in a fortuitous eBay bonanza:
The majority of these heads are gazillionth-order plaster cast reproductions (knock-offs of knock-offs of knock-offs) of originals held in the Laurence Hutton Collection at Princeton. Several are actually life masks, originally cast by sculptors.
In roughly bottom-to-top, left-to-right order, the faces in this photo belong to:
On the ledge: Abraham Lincoln, Laurence Barrett, Sir Richard Owen, Robert E. Lee, John C. Calhoun, William Tecumseh Sherman
The bottom six hanging on the wall: Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonio Canova, John Keats, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith, Jean-Paul Marat
The next highest six: Franz Liszt, Napoleon Bonaparte (well, maybe), Frederick the Great, George Washington, William Blake, Oliver Cromwell
The next highest five: Jeremy Bentham, Aaron Burr, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edward Kean, Ulysses S. Grant
And the top row: Jonathan Swift, Maria Malibran, David Garrick, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Moore.
On another wall not pictured we've got: Robespierre, another Abe Lincoln, Frederic Chopin, Pope Pius IX, Benjamin Disraeli, Benjamin Franklin, and John Dilinger. Plus there are a few more whose names I've forgotten in storage.
If there's one death mask I wish we had, it would be the Inconnue de la Seine.
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Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary. This package of […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]