The worst job of the 19th Century: nipple pinchers vs. anal tobacco blowers vs. tongue pullers in reviving the dead


John Ptak, a dealer in rare science books, writes about all the different ways that people in days of yore used to make sure dead people really were dead.

Perhaps the most spectacularly extension of the nipple-pincher was the tongue-pulling idea of Dr. J.-V. Laborde (1830-1903), a research physician with wide credentials, who reasoned that a continued regimen of advanced and strenuous pulling of a patient's tongue would over time bring them back to life if alive. This is what leads us to the point of this post: Laborde established a mortuary, and in this mortuary, where the dead were waiting to die, he employed a man whose job it was to pull the tongues of these bodies. In the misty picture of all of this that is painted in my mind's eye, the fellow working his way from body to body pulling their tongues with a heavy pincer seems far worse than nipple squeezing or even being an anal smoke blower, though to choose between the three in a twisted Purgatorial mandate would be hard to so. Although the nipple pincher wasn't replaced by anything mechanical, the smoke blower was (by a powerful bellows), and so was our friend the tongue puller, who after complaining of the boredom of his task was pushed aside by an electrical device. I am loathe to report that I cannot find a picture of the machine.

The Worst Job of the 19th Century? Tongue-Pullers, Nipple-Pinchers & Anal Tobacco Blowers Try to Revive the Dead.


  1. Ummm.. why don’t they just DECAPITATE THEM? Works for all kinds of undead… no muss no fuss no bellows up the anus to blow someones intestines across he room…

  2. Decapitation would make sure they were dead, but that wasn’t really the objective. It was to keep living people from being buried alive.

    I guess decapitation might do that, come to think.

  3. Once word of this nipple pulling gets out there will be a whole new Frankenpunk Bride of Frankenstein reboot.

  4. The official funniest joke ever seems pertinent here:
    Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says: “Calm down, I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: “OK, now what?”

  5. There appears to be a spammer loose again. I’m looking at you, 51googlepm. I have no idea how to get the moderators to look at it since the redesign, however, as the omnipresent eyeball has disappeared, and I don’t see any links to moderators, etc. So, to the first mod that sees this, please reply and let me know how we should report!

  6. All this begs the question: what did tongue-pullers and nipple pinchers put on their resumes when it came time to find a new job?

    1. What do vag-fluffers and anus preppers in the pron industry put on theirs? (-Resumes, of course. What were you thinking?) Don’t they use nipple pinchers too? It would seem a natural crossover, if the technological gap were not so large… er… so to speak.

  7. No picture of the bellows device? No problem; I wouldn’t even want to THINK about what google images searches would return for those keywords. I think I’d lose my breakfast…

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