In the early 1800s people being buried alive was a real problem. Doctors couldn't always be sure that what they thought was death was truly final. Sometimes people would be buried with a shovel or crowbar so that they could dig themselves out--just in case. George Bateson invented an iron bell mounted on the lid of the casket just above the head of the deceased. A cord went from the bell to the hand of the dead person. If the person was not really dead, he could just ring the bell...

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