There's a good chance you've made out with a drowning victim from the 1800s

(Thread, non-sweary version here: bit.ly/2WoJUUh)
You may not have heard of l'Inconnue de la Seine but there's a good chance you've kissed her on the mouth, in a manner of speaking.
In the late 1880s, a body was discovered drowned in the Seine in Paris. Nobody really knows what happened to her, though it's speculated that it was by suicide. More importantly, nobody knew who she was either.
Unlike today where their face might make the papers and she would be identified in that way, in France from around 1881 they would take your corpse and place it in a window of a chilled room and people would gawp at your lifeless body like a pasty in Greggs.
Should anyone recognise you they say something along the lines of "I'll take that one to go" like you would if Greggs had table service.
The windows were weirdly popular, in ways that were disproportionate to the number of people who were missing loved ones. “There is not a single window in Paris that attracts more onlookers than this," according to a volume of engravings Unknown Paris.
Don't judge them too harshly, entertainment was thin on the ground back them, for instance, not one of them had yet watched Disney's Ratatouille.
Of all the people that stared at the unknown girl , not one of them knew who she was. She was placed in a pauper's grave, but not before one last creep took something from her; her face.
It's not known why the pathologist at the mortuary decided to make a death mask of her, though the popular story goes that he was so entranced by her beauty that he couldn't help himself, which is a good indicator that they probably shouldn't work in a mortuary.
"Where's Remy gone?"
"Remy? Oh you mean the fucking creep, yeah he's taking another cast of a corpse he's got the hots for. I'd fire him, but he's just so goddamn good at window displays."
For whatever reason the cast was made, it was bizarrely popular when masks made from it went on sale. People could just not get enough of this dead girl's face.
It was popular among artists and writers alike, and stories were written based around L'Inconnue de la Seine (the unknown woman of the Seine) inventing backstories for her and why she chose to drown herself. Normal.
The mask became something that everybody needed to have, like a Furby in the 90s except it was a corpse's face.
There was even a horror story based around the mask where it goes on to kill a bunch of people, which is pretty much the opposite of what it would eventually do.
Her face endured for decades, when in the 1950s a toy manufacturer - Asmind S. Laerdal - whacked it onto a soft plastic doll named Anne, meaning people could now squish as well as just glance at her dead face.
As chance would have it, Laerdal's own son had nearly drowned when he was 2. When in the mid-50s Dr. Peter Safar came up with a method of resuscitation involving mouth to mouth and chest compressions, he went to Laerdal for help to teach it around the world.
Laerdal leapt at the chance, and together they worked on a lifelike (well, ish) doll you've probably pressed your lips against at some point or another if you've ever done any kind of first aid training; the Resusci Anne.
And that's why, hundreds of years after her death, she continues to get the most action of any corpse we know about to date.
If you like my threads, maybe you could consider getting one of my books for a friend / family member for Xmas so one day I might have more time to do loads of them. They’ll love it.
amazon.co.uk/52-Times-Brita…

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with James Felton

James Felton Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @JimMFelton

16 Dec
Quick thread on why the third best Christmas film (Gremlins) is so goddamn good
I didn't watch Gremlins until last year when Empire (go buy Empire, it is great) made me watch it. Despite years of outraged insistence that I should see it, I refused to add another Christmas film to my already massive list. Especially not Gremlins.
Why?

A Muppet Christmas Carol is the perfect Christmas film. It's even the definitive version of a Christmas Carol and Charles Dickens was an idiot to think he could novelise it.
Read 23 tweets
15 Dec
What a profound thought there Melville, first thing tomorrow I’m off to spit in a pensioner’s mouth safe in the knowledge that everything is fine again Image
He’s only gone and bloody solved Covid. Probably why he didn’t asked for retweets on this one, knew it was a banger as is.
Oh good the James Melville defending virus nonces have found this tweet
Read 6 tweets
10 Dec
The oldest customer complaint in history is fucking amazing.

(Thread, sources here: bit.ly/3n9NRI4 h/t: @DrCarpineti)
Nowadays if you want to complain it's as easy as tagging Coca Cola and calling them a cunt. You move on with your day safe in the knowledge that you made some poor social media manager out there a bit sad.
Before this you'd have to fax them, and call them "ye olde cunt", as was the custom of the 1980s. Way back in 1750 BC, however, you'd have to really be pissed in order to complain, because it involved taking a chisel and twatting it into a stone.
Read 15 tweets
8 Dec
Whilst Winston Churchill is trending, a short thread from my first book about how he helped cause a famine that killed more than 3 million people:
amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07…
If in the Avengers Thor flew down, killed Thanos and saved the universe, then turned around and started twatting orphans with his hammer there would many articles written about how "ok bravo on killing Thanos but I think we need to talk about how Thor is a bit of a mixed bag".
Well, Churchill, one of Britain's greatest heroes, who stood up to Hitler (with the help of many allies) and won, also caused the death of 3 million people in India, and we should probably acknowledge that a bit.
Read 19 tweets
6 Dec
Imagine being a scientist, studying for years, working for more, discovering a vaccine for a new disease, rigorously testing it and producing all the data, getting it through peer review and then being told the public won’t trust it until they hear the phrase “Biggins is in” Image
Look I’m happy that you got to play with your little test tubes and “trial phases” but I’m afraid I just have too many concern- what’s that you say? The man who played the second ugly sister every year in the Dartford Christmas panto since 2003 is taking it? PUMP IT INTO MY BLOOD
I’m aware this is a good way to reach people who might distrust the vaccine. Once again I must beg you to stop trying to fact check a joke.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
In 1990, a plane really did land whilst the pilot was hanging out of the window by his ankles.

(THREAD. For non sweary version and sources see here: bit.ly/36IK7X1)
As the viral tweets explains, in 1990 most of a pilot got sucked out of the window, leaving just enough pilot inside the plane for others to hold onto (specifically the leg part).
Then, the other pilot was forced to attempt to land the plane while being quite distracted by all of the air and colleague being shot out of the window.
Read 39 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!