FYI January 12, 2020

On This Day

1967 – Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation.
James Hiram Bedford (April 20, 1893 – January 12, 1967) was an American psychology professor at the University of California who wrote several books on occupational counseling.[1] He is the first person whose body was cryopreserved after legal death, and who remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.[2][3][4]

[[{{}}]]== Cryonic preservation ==
See also: Cryonics § History

In June 1965, Ev Cooper’s Life Extension Society (LES) offered the opportunity to preserve one person free of charge, stating that “the Life Extension Society now has primitive facilities for emergency short term freezing and storing our friend the large homeotherm (man). LES offers to freeze free of charge the first person desirous and in need of cryogenic suspension.” Bedford did not take this opportunity, however, but later used his own funds. Bedford suffered from kidney cancer that had later metastasized into his lungs, a condition that was untreatable at the time.[5] Bedford left $100,000 to cryonics research in his will, but more than this amount was utilized by Bedford’s wife and son in court, having to defend his will and his cryopreservation due to arguments created by other relatives.[5]

Bedford’s body was frozen a few hours after his death due to natural causes related to his cancer.[5] His body was preserved by Robert Prehoda (author of the 1969 book Suspended Animation), Dr. Dante Brunol (physician and biophysicist) and Robert Nelson (President of the Cryonics Society of California). Nelson then wrote a book about the subject titled We Froze the First Man. Compared to those employed by modern cryonics organizations, the use of cryoprotectants in Bedford’s case was primitive. He was injected with a solution 15% dimethyl sulfoxide and 85% ringers solution, a compound once thought to be useful for long-term cryogenics, so it is unlikely that his brain was protected. Vitrification was not yet possible, further limiting the possibility of Bedford’s eventual recovery. In his first suspended animation stages, his body was stored at Edward Hope’s Cryo-Care facility in Phoenix, Arizona, for two years, then in 1969 moved to the Galiso facility in California. Bedford’s body was moved from Galiso in 1973 to Trans Time near Berkeley, California, until 1977, before being stored by his son for many years.[5]

Bedford’s body was maintained in liquid nitrogen by his family in southern California until 1982, when it was then moved to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and has remained in Alcor’s care to the present day.[6] In May 1991, his body’s condition was evaluated when he was moved to a new storage dewar. The examiners concluded that “it seems likely that his external temperature has remained at relatively low subzero temperatures throughout the storage interval.”[7] The date of Bedford’s cryopreservation, January 12, is now known as “James Bedford Day”, and is celebrated every year.[8]



Born On This Day

1799 – Priscilla Susan Bury, British botanist (d. 1872)
Priscilla Susan Bury, born Falkner (12 January 1799 Liverpool – 8 March 1872 Croydon), was an English botanist and illustrator.

Priscilla Susan Bury was born in Fairfield, 2 miles east of Liverpool, England. She began to draw plants from her family’s greenhouse and, by 1829, had enough studies of lilies and allied plants for publication. From 1831-1834, her drawings were published in A Selection of Hexandrian Plants[1]. The engraving was entrusted to the Londoner Robert Havell, engraver of the John James Audubon (1785-1851) plates. The book was carried out in aquatint and the 350 plant drawings painted in part by hand. The subscribers to this large folio numbered only 79, mostly from the Lancashire region, Audubon being one of them. The book was described as “one of the most effective colour-plate folios of its period” by Wilfrid Jasper Walter Blunt in his The Art of Botanical Illustration.[2]

She married Edward Bury (1794-1858), a noted railway engineer, on 4 March 1830. The couple had at least three sons, born between 1831 and 1835. Although she was not trained as a botanist or patronized as a professional artist[3], she was the author of several other scientific plant illustrations[4] including The Botanist of Benjamin Maund (1790-1863).[5]
The standard author abbreviation Bury is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[6]


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