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Old December 30th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #1

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Mummy trains


I saw a documentary years ago about the British rail system in Egypt using ancient Egyptian mummies for fuel in the locomotives.

Does anyone know which rail lines these were or the specifics of the mummies?
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Old December 30th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #2

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Re: Mummy trains


Here is an article that states that this is an urban legend started by Mark Twain of all people:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...ummies-as-fuel

So I do not know how true the story is. I found several websites talking about it, but no reference was given at all, so perhaps it is a myth.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #3

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Re: Mummy trains


I too had heard the tale of mummies used as fuel for steam engines.

okamido, you get to put a check mark in your punctured balloon column. While I enjoy learning the root of my errors, I'm not real fond of losing balloons.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #4

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Re: Mummy trains


Quote:
Originally Posted by Edratman View Post
I too had heard the tale of mummies used as fuel for steam engines.

okamido, you get to put a check mark in your punctured balloon column. While I enjoy learning the root of my errors, I'm not real fond of losing balloons.

I'm sorry. It doesn't mean it never happen, though I would hate to think of losing those mummies to trains for fuel of all things.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #5

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Re: Mummy trains


I've heard of Augustus Stanwood of Maine who purchased tons of mummies in the 1860s and tried to use the wrappings into paper. It didn't work just right so he used it as plain wrapping paper.
Poor mummies.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #6

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Re: Mummy trains


I wouldn't be too quick, yet.

http://www.mummytombs.com/dummy/grave.htm

I did locate the documentary. It's called National Geographic's Secrets of the Mummy - Revealed!

Other sources state they were also ground up for powder for various reasons by apothecaries since the 1600's.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:52 PM   #7

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Re: Mummy trains


I found reference for the apothecary as well, the same for their wraps being used for odd purposes. It is lame that they would come to these ends, no matter what it was, train fuel, phony medicine, or even thatch for a roof,(I found that as well).
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #8

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Re: Mummy trains


I might add that it was very fashionable for the wealthy in the 19th century to buy an entire mummy, ship it to their house for a party, then have their guest take turns unwrapping it.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #9

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Re: Mummy trains


here is a link to the page in The Innocents Abroad, where Mr. Clemens makes his comment on the mummies as fuel. It would be up to the individual reader to distinguish, or attempt to distinguish, if he was using wit or being truthful. That is the issue with Mark Twain, his satirical nature. It is the third box(page 421).

http://books.google.com/books?id=GUg...ummies&f=false
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #10

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Re: Mummy trains


Quote:
Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
I might add that it was very fashionable for the wealthy in the 19th century to buy an entire mummy, ship it to their house for a party, then have their guest take turns unwrapping it.
Nice.
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