10 Things You Should Know About the First Human Cryonic Suspension in History


Freezing and storing the human body is certainly not a new process. The origins go back almost 250 years ago, and the idea has been very popular ever since.

Cryonic freezing dates back to 1773 in a letter written by Benjamin Franklin. However, the subject he briefly wrote about required almost 200 years to come to life. A physicist named Robert Ettinger began to work on freezing the human body, and it has been consistently researched since then.

A lot more scientists worked on Ettinger's experiment, and 5 years later, the very first full human body freeze is accomplished, making James Bedford the first human in history to be medically frozen.

1. Done by the Life Extension Society back in 1965, the organization promised to cryogenically suspend the first person without any fee if they decided to go through with it.

2. James Bedford saw the advertisement and applied, taking the first step to become the first person to go through cryonic suspension in history.

3. Back then, Bedford had kidney cancer, and had been fighting it for two years. But, since the cancer spread to his lungs, he passed away at the age of 74.

4. Bedford was frozen a couple of hours after his death.

5. Robert Prehoda, Dr. Dante Brunol and Robert Nelson were in charge of the process.

Nelson even wrote a book about this titled “We Froze the First Man.”

6. Dimethyl Sulfoxide was used to freeze his body.

However, it was understood much later that this chemical was not the best choice for the process, and it lowered the chance of reviving Bedford.

7. Bedford’s body was kept in liquid nitrogen until 1982, and then transferred to its current facility.

8. This facility is today’s biggest cryonic suspension company and is named Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

9. The measurements on Bedford’s body in 1991 showed that his body temperature never went above 32F.

10. Even though Bedford was the first successful man to be frozen, there have been many failed attempts in the past.

For example, a year before Bedford's procedure, an un-named woman went through the same process, but since it was done a long while after her death, the authorities decided that it was not worth the shot, and so they terminated the test. This is how the title was transferred to Bedford in the first place.

If you liked Bedford’s story and would like to find out more about his operation, you can reach the company’s website via here.

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