21 comments on “Human Salamander. 1906. Don’t try this at home.

  1. Hmm. It doesn’t say where he died does it? I’m thinking he faked his own death, escaped debtors, and escaped Russia.

    • You might be right. I found a reference to him relating to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum where they have the torso of a mannequin in an oven and i found a suggestion he was part of a travelling freak show. Maybe the shine came off the life of a travelling freak.

        • I agree. I bet the melted lead was a prop of some description, but the mercury… He probably really did drink it. I wonder how long his career was before the signs of toxicity made normal life impossible to maintain?

  2. Wow, what a crazy story. I think Frivolous Monsters has got something there though—skeptical bunch we are.

    As for the inscription: “He tried this at home”.

    • I like 😀
      We are a skeptical bunch aren’t we?
      I found myself wondering if his clothing was fireproof too. When he emerged from the oven after his tricks had they been burnt from his body or were they conveniently intact?
      Drinking mercury though, wow. Boiling or not, that was not a good health choice!

  3. credo quia impossibile est…
    And, if you want to see a version of Chamouni you can either YouTube him or go to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! , in Florida http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/3282332272/…”Chamouni, a circus sideshow exhibitionist of the 19th century, as part of his act would enter an oven with a raw leg of mutton and not come out until the meat was well cooked! Billed as “The Incombustible Man,” Chamouni frequently withstood temperatures between 250 degrees and 350 degrees Fahrenheit during his human roast act. (121 to 177 degrees Celsius)”.
    I had no idea Ripley’s Believe It or Not! still existed. It is still at Surfers Paradise but doesn’t appear to feature Chamouni 😦

    • When I was doing this post and saw there was a YouTube clip I was thrilled, but the mannequin in the modern oven was not what I was hoping for! Still, it was good to see that there was more than just this one newspaper reference to him. I wonder what the trick was to exiting the oven with a cooked joint? I am assuming here that he really was just as combustible as the rest of us.
      It probably won’t be a surprise when I tell you I always used to watch Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! when I was young. 😀

        • Remember all those amazing stories…. I can probably blame things like that, the Twilight Zone, the Muppets and Looney Tunes for the way my brain works now. 😀
          If I was doing the tourist thing in Hollywood it would definitely be on my to-do list too. 🙂

  4. Was the leg of lamb ashed as well? The thing that has me puzzled is the element of time. Now I know I like my lamb well cooked but even at medium rare it would have to be in that oven for at least 2 hours. What on earth were the spectators doing while they waited for the roast? Peeling potatoes?

    • Thank you! 😀 There are times when I just accidentally stumble across something and have to thank my lucky stars.

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