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Development of Funeral


CHAPTER 9 Development of Funeral Transportation Introduction of Other Automobiles Ambulance Undertaker s buggy Limousine Between 1910 and 1920 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Development of Funeral

  • Development of Funeral
  • Transportation

  • One of the most inescapable needs created by
    death is an organized society arises from the
    fact that the corpse must be moved from the
    point of death to the other place for preparation
    then funeralization and interment.
  • As you become a funeral director you are faced
    with this very same problem
  • What type of vehicle will you use?
  • What will the vehicle look like?

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • So important is the collective act of bearing the
    dead to the place of sepulture that it has tended
    historically either to be incorporated into
    religious organization, or to come under
    religious control.
  • Of all processions, the funeral procession is the

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • The procession starts at a period antedating
    wheeled vehicles, and it has continued down to
    the present. The character and form of the
    procession, or to use the modern term, the
    funeral varies widely in different countries.
    Regardless of variety, it is one of the most
    universal acts.
  • The word "funeral" is derived from funeralis, the
    Latin Word for torchlight procession.

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • One of the standard pieces of equipment and the
    most common symbol of the funeral procession has
    been the hearse or the
  • Funeral Coach

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • Origins of the word hearse
  • French is herse.
  • Latin is hirpex- meaning a rake or harrow.
  • The first hearse looked like a huge rectangle
    rake with the teeth or prongs pointing upward.
  • Remember the plumes on the casket?
  • What did they stand for?

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • Hearses were also used to enclose the tomb or
  • A hearse used to
    enclose the grave you ask???

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • As burial moved away from the churches and
    churchyards the need for better transportation
    became pinnacle to the funeral functionaries.
  • This provided the bearing, by hand or shoulder
    carrying to be the birth point of the modern day

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • The simple forerunner of the hearse was the bier
    or the bear.
  • Similar to a hand-stretcher on which an
    uncoffined body was carried to the grave.

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • As coffins were brought into popular use they
    were likewise born on the bier but the
    additional weight, especially in the case of
    lined or multiple coffins, necessitated an
    adaptation for the problem of long distances. One
    solution was to have two sets of bearers. Four
    of the oldest or most prominent men were called
    bearers another four, whose duty it was to
    relieve the bearers, were called Underbearers.

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • The first instance of a hearse on wheels is found
    in the burial of Colonel Rainsborowe in 1648.
  • By 1690 the hearse had become a necessity in
    England. Where the London Gazette advertised
    Hearses for hire.
  • From this point forward until about the mid-19th
    Century hearse and bier were commonly

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • Because the roads leading out from early towns
    and villages were often narrow, rough and muddy
    the early hearses were small and functional
    rather than elaborate, barely held had the room
    for the casket and the driver.
  • The driver may have to even sit on or straddle
    the casket.
  • Would you ever send the hearse out to a funeral
    with rain spots or mud on the fenders?
  • Cracked windshield or broken tail-lights?

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • Colonial hearses for the wealthy were horse drawn
    wagons pulled with Six Horses.
  • But most people still went to the grave on foot.
  • Horse-drawn hearses became more widely used in
    the middle
    19th and early 20th
    century (1850-1910).

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • The making of gentlemans coaches involved
    considerable skill. It was said that coachmaking
    was an urban luxury craft
  • One of the most spectacular symbols of colonial
    affluence and gentility was a gentlemens
    carriage and, as men grew richer in town and
    country the business of coachmaking prospered.

Funeral Procession and the Hearse
  • Many other functionaries became involved in the
    making of the hearses.
  • Now that you have the hearses where do you get
    the horses to pull it?
  • You are correct.The livery men started to become
    more involved with undertaking.
  • Just as the cabinet makers and upholsters became
    involved with caskets livery men became involved
    with the introduction of the hearse.

Hearses with Horses
  • Until the outbreak of the Civil War, hearses were
    modeled all about the same.
  • In about 1861 fashion was beginning to play a
    more important role in funeral equipage.
  • From about 1860 forward styles in hearses changed
    with cyclical regularity at intervals of about
    every 15 years.
  • What is your opinion of a funeral home that uses
    a hearse that is outdated?

Hearses with Horses
  • The hearses before the Civil War were basically a
    long, rectangle box with windows along the side
    of French Glass and skimped curtains and room for
    only one horse and the drivers seat.
  • After the Civil War, the hearse became longer and
    higher, with full plate glass sides, fancy
    scroll-work along the top, metal columns and a
    scrolled iron neck for the driver to sit on.

Hearses with Horses
Innovators of the Hearse
  • James Cunningham- exhibited at the New Orleans
    Cotton Exposition in 1884 featuring a funeral
    car. (See plate 51 on page 239).
  • Shortly after the war, hearses for children came
    into use and the beautiful white childs hearse
    of the Stein Patent Burial Casket Works met with
    immediate popular approval.
  • Throughout the last quarter of the 19th century
    childrens hearses were standard equipment for
    all undertakers and funeral directors.

Innovators of the Hearse
  • Hudson Samson- In 1889 he introduced a new style
    which was oval decked eight-postered and six
  • In 1893, Crane Breed-Exhibited a funeral car at
    the Chicago World Fair.
    Designed for West Indian
    and South American


Innovators of the Hearse
  • It included extraordinary size church-like
    design massive carvings in bass-relief
    gildings heavy gold fringes and tassels and
    lamps of gold weighing 2400 lbs. (opposed to avg.
    1600 lbs.) It was laden with golden angels and
    cherubs crucifixes and statues a processional
    scene over the middle glass in which the Saviour
    was depicted bearing the cross and receded by the
    two thieves the two Marys, a throng of Roman
    soldiers and others. Other sculptures over the
    quarter lights showed the adoration of the Christ
    child and the Ascension.

Innovators of the Hearse
  • The hearse was not sent to South America
    immediately, it was used in the funeral of
    assassinated Mayor Carter H. Harrison of Chicago.
  • Later it did make its way to Havana, Cuba where
    for many years it was used in State Funerals.

  • In 1898 Hudson Samson, one of Americas most
    famous inventors in funeral fashions, proposed
    the most radical change in funeral car design to
    ever find its way into general use.
  • He proposed a hearse that was entirely obscured
    by graceful draped imitation of cloth- an immense
    pall, held up in place by cords and tassels so as
    to form the draperies, the whole to be carved out
    of solid wood.
  • This hearse was considered the greatest triumph
    ever achieved in the art of hearse making and
    sold for an estimated 4,000.00.

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Funeral Trolleys?
  • With the development of gas powered vehicles and
    the electric streetcars the stage was set.
  • What was the next hearse style?
  • Funeral Trolley Car
  • It was only big enough to carry the casket,
    undertaker and bearers
  • Additional vehicles were provided for the
    flowers, and mourners.
  • (See plate 53 on page 243).

Funeral Trolleys?
Funeral Trolleys?
  • What do you think were some of the problems with
    the Funeral Trolly?
  • People didnt like it because
  • Iron wheels creeked and screeched on turns
  • Rumbled and bounced through intersections
  • It was thought of shooting through the streets
    at a high rate of speed.
  • Do you think that the hearse should have a
    solemn speed?

Introduction of the Gas Buggy
  • Design of the gasoline-powered hearses
  • Fred Hulberg in 1896 designed a hearse 16 ft.
    long and costing 6000.
  • It was a truck-like vehicle with passenger
    section and a rectangle container directly above
    the motor for the casket.
  • There is no record if any were actually produced
    or placed in operation. (See plate 55 on page

Introduction of the Gas Buggy
Introduction of the Gas Buggy
  • Crane Breed- June 1909 they had an auto-hearse
    on the market. (See plate 56 on page 249.)

Introduction of the Gas Buggy
  • Design of the gasoline-powered hearses
  • Crane Breed- June 1909 they had an auto-hearse
    on the market. (See plate 56 on page 249.)
  • It was enclosed, painted black with little
    decoration to it except a rather grotesque
    replica of the famous tomb of Scipio carved in
    wood atop the otherwise flat roof of the
    rectangular coach. For-posted, wood carved,
    draped window, horse drawn funeral car, still
    keeping however with the Scipio motif.
  • It was even conceived that undertaker may even
    use a bicycle to transport the body to the grave.

Introduction of the Gas Buggy
  • There was a definite argument of the
    non-feasibility of the auto-funeral.
  • Would involve a high outlay of cash.
  • Auto hearses could go no faster than horse drawn
  • Upkeep and the cost of trained chauffeurs would
    be excessive.
  • The cost of operation would be so high that
    undertakers would have to cut costs on some other
    item.the casket.
  • It seemed like the undertakers were rushing the
    families to the grave. The older people wanted a
    slow and leisurely , and more dignified trip to
    the cemetery.

Introduction of Other Automobiles
  • Ambulance
  • Undertakers buggy
  • Limousine
  • Between 1910 and 1920 the automobile came to
    dominate the field of funeral transportation, and
    eventually replaced all other types of vehicles
    used in funeral service.

Introduction of Other Automobiles
  • Through World War 1 auto hearses tended to become
    increasingly more ornate.
  • One company even marketed a hearse on the body of
    which was a statue of Gabriel blowing his horn.
  • Does it take away from the funeral to use a
    hearse with the statues of Gabriel blowing his

Introduction of Other Automobiles
  • Though patents were granted as early as 1901, it
    was not until after World War 1 that limousine
    hearses made their appearance.
  • Tiring of ornately carved vehicles, funeral
    directors and the public turned toward the longer
    smoother lines of the limousine.
  • Limousine hearses mark the beginning of the
    tendency toward the blending of the hearse and
    other conveyances in the funeral procession in
    pleasing style.

Introduction of Other Automobiles
  • What are some of the pros and cons of the
    limousine or family car?
  • Do they have a place in funeral processions of

  • The side servicing feature in hearses was
    introduced in 1926. This innovation has added the
    convenience and dignity of the funeral service as
    it makes possible loading the vehicle without the
    necessity of the pallbearers walking into the
    street, as it was sometimes muddy and dirty.

  • Sizes and Colors
  • Until the civil war hearses were black
  • After the war they were varied sometimes gray but
    mostly a dark color.
  • The size increased in length and width after the
  • Childrens hearses
  • Nearly always white
  • Introduced about a decade after the civil war
  • Why is white always associated with children?

  • Sizes and Colors
  • The most popular color combinations was the basic
    black hearse with fine lines of silver or gold.
  • Light grey however became a favorite for carved

  • Flower cars
  • Developed for the transportation of the flowers.
  • Regular hearses with special trays or receptacles
    attached to the sidewalls of the hearse body
    above the casket.

Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
  • Is it unacceptable to transport flowers in the
    hearse tot eh cemetery placed around the casket?
  • What it the casket is draped with a flag?

Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
  • Hearses
  • Limousines
  • Flower Cars
  • What is the modern term for a hearse today?

Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
  • The automobile effected a great change in the
    life of the individual, so has the development of
    the motor hearse, with its constant technological
    developments, helped to revolutionize the burial
    of the dead.
  • The funeral directors responsibilities to the
    mourners, in terms of both safety and sentiment,
    likewise grew apace with the growth of his
    function in directing transportation.

Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
  • To organize and direct a procession which must be
    profoundly ceremonial, which cannot be rehearsed
    or repeated, and in which mistakes are always
    magnified by a high level of emotional intensity,
    defines and fixes responsibility which by
    conventional standards of occupational
    recognition elevates the funeral directors work
    above and beyond that of the craftsman,
    tradesman, or purveyor of petty personal services.

Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th
Development of Funeral Cars Throughout the 20th