fun facts to tell and know (mummy edition)

I’ve been reading Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, and I have just learned that in the middle of the nineteenth century, in the midst of a shortage of the rags from which newspaper was then made, some entrepreneurial American businessmen bought a bunch of mummies from Egypt, unwrapped them, and used the linen to make paper.

Also, at the same time the first Cairo-to-Alexandria railway, which ran through a series of necropolises, exhumed mummies and threw them whole into the firebox to keep the steam high. They didn’t have access to much wood, and it turns out that mummies burn real hot.

Thought y’all would want to know.