New research is revealing new facts about the Soap Lady at Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. You may remember saponification from my Soapman post; this is the same phenomenon. This poor girl is a bit more ghastly-looking than Soapman, but just as interesting.
It was previously thought that she was a victim of the 1792 Yellow Fever epidemic. Then, x-rays taken in the 1980s showed pins and buttons on her clothing that suggested she hadn’t died until the 1830s or later. (These particular pins and buttons weren’t manufactured in the U.S. until then.)
Now, even newer x-rays are showing that she was significantly younger at the time of her death (in her 20s) than first thought (40-ish).
Image source: John Donges on Flickr.