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As the general population’s love of zombies continues to grow I thought I’d post this interesting little article from out of my files for all those who are convinced that a zombie apocalypse is eminent. Not only does the article give a brief glimpse as to what the world of “science” was like at the turn of the century but it also provides some more weird clues as to how we may be truly headed for an undead disaster. Also, notice that when the creatures are brought back to life…they’re angry.
Doctor Discovers Secret of Life and Death
The secret of life and the vital principle of its source have been uncovered by an Indiana physician. A lengthy series of experiments have been conducted, all leading conclusively to the support of the theory advanced by the investigator, and the success of the experiments have been sufficient, according to the physician’s associates, to convince even the most skeptical member of the profession that the Indiana doctor has brought to light a most important discovery. The physician is Dr. C. W. Littlefield, a well-known practitioner of central Indiana, whose home is in Alexandria, and whose laboratory also is located in the gas belt city. For fifteen years Dr. Littlefield has pursued his investigation and experiments and only recently consented to make public the result of his laboratory work.
During all this time the physician has confined his experiments to cats, dogs, monkeys and other lower animals and, only upon one occasion was it found possible to test the potency of his discovery on a human being. In this solitary case his theory was proved as correct as when its workings were applied to animals of the lower form. Dr. Littlefield asserts that his experiments have demonstrated to his satisfaction and to the satisfaction of his medical associates some of the following facts:
Life is not dependent upon organic function as a principle.
It may be infused into organized bodies even after the organs have ceased to perform their legitimate offices.
Where death has been caused by means not impairing tissue formation or induced by causes not destructive of organs vital in their purpose, life may be recalled and a perfect resuscitation may be secured by the employment of the most simple agents.
In short, Dr. Littlefield makes the astounding assertion that he can bring the dead back to life. But, as is obvious, he qualifies his assertion with the declaration that his methods are inoperative where death has been occasioned by tissue or organic destruction which cannot be repaired or replaced. The Indiana physician asserts that the secret of life, in substance, is violate magnetism.
In demonstrating his theory the doctor employs a solution of saline origin, with salt as the basis, saturated with oleo; resin and exposed for several hours to an atmosphere of free ammonia. The chemical thus formed, he declares, is an exact reproduction of conditions existing in the human body. Here, however, the volatile magnetism is drawn into the body from the atmosphere through the lungs and finding present In body tissue mineral compounds the potent atmosphere is at once absorbed, held in bounds, and later compounded by natural processes with the tissue and organic formations. In other words, by securing through artificial means the solution which has proved so effectual in his experiments, the doctor asserts he is only duplicating on a small but comprehensive scale what occurs in the human body when air enters normal lungs and becomes the life-giving atmosphere of a normal body.
Having secured this saline solution, Dr.Littlefield reduces it to a powder. It is this powder that he has employed throughout his long course of experiments. For instance, having put to death a dog or cat by drowning and allowed the corpse to remain long enough to convince anyone following his investigations that all life is extinct. Dr. Littlefield takes the corpse and, without preparation of any kind, places it upon a heated stone or porcelain plate, brought to a temperature corresponding to that of the normal body, and covers it thoroughly with a light layer of the powder. Within three or four minutes from the time the powder has been coated over the dead body signs of life manifest themselves, and within fifteen minutes after the resuscitating methods were begun, in every instance, the subject has returned to normal life.
Possibly one of the most peculiar features of the doctor’s experiments is the fact that, upon regaining consciousness and life in every instance, the beasts have displayed an intense anger. This, after an hour or so, however, wears away, and the subjects become greatly attached to Dr. Littlefleld, refusing to be separated from him. Cats, the experimenter has discovered, are probably less responsive to his methods than animals of similar importance In the animal scale. This doubtless is due to the fact that a cat, having been killed by drowning, suffers more than other animals and following resuscitation, usually evince symptoms of pneumonia or lung inflammation, due to the irritation and exposure induced by direct contact with the water. In such cases, however, a few drops of the powder administered internally have served invariably to relieve the sufferer and restore the subject to normal condition.
Dr. Littlefield asserts in a statement prepared some time ago that he has not yet discovered how long a time may elapse between death and the time of attempted resuscitation before his theory and its operation become ineffective. A cat remained dead two hours and during this time was allowed to remain in the hot sun until rigor mortis had set in. The corpse was then placed upon the heated porcelain and powder applied and the animal returned to consciousness within five minutes. The experimenter has allowed a number of flies and bees to remain dead for twelve hours and has succeeded restoring life within two or three minutes. Only upon one occasion was the potency of Dr. Littlefield’s theory tried upon the human being. This occurred some years ago, when the experiments had not reached their present perfect end finished state. Upon this occasion a boy who had fallen in the water through the ice was given up as dead by physicians summoned to restore life by the usual artificial means. Dr. Littlefield, however, secured permission to make an attempt to resuscitate the lad and, taking his body to his laboratory a mile away, immediately submitted it to the powder treatment. In fifteen minutes, together with a continuance of the other means of restoring life, the boy revived and evinced no unusually abnormal symptoms. Dr. Littlefleld makes his statement without reserve that he is positive, as in the instance already recited, his theory is successful in operation on human subjects.
The origin of the experiments which have led to the discoveries had its source in the doctor’s desire to discover, if possible, whether it were practical to rebuild injured or impaired tissues. The course of the experiments finally led into the channel they have now taken, and for a number of years the investigator has confined himself to the work in hand, abandoning his former researches. The magnetic influence can easily be seen by placing a drop of the liquid with minute particles of solid substance in it under a microscope. The particles can be seen flying back and forth with indescribable energy and life. These original experiments were based on a careful study of the various compounds that enter into the formation of the different tissues of the body and were, for the most part, an attempt to group both the organic and the mineral compounds in the exact proportions in which they appear in healthy tissues.
During his investigation the doctor noticed that the changes of atmosphere frequently affected his patients. There were times not noticed by the healthy person when a patient was much worse than at others. The doctor deduced that this is because there is not the great amount of volatile magnetism in the air at the times referred to. At least the conditions of his patients led him to investigate, and the conclusion followed that there was an unknown power separate from the chemical, operative, but indefinable. After several years, Dr. Littlefield declares he succeeded in compounding a liquid that absorbed or gathered this force from the atmosphere. This he now calls the volatile magnetism, formed with the salt as its basic feature.
Article & Photos originally published in 1902