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Funeral History #7

Preservation in America & Funeral Transportation

One reason embalming gained popularity in America was: The country was expanding and there was a greater need to preserve bodies for travel or to be held while family members traveled.
One reason embalming gained popularity in America was: Americans were developing their own funeral customs, including longer wakes and a desire to view the body.
True or False: an early method of preserving the body was to keep it cool? True.
One invention for keeping bodies cool was called the 'corpse cooler.' It slowed decomposition by: placing an ice chest over the torso of the body before the funeral. The organs within the torso are most susceptible to rapid decomposition.
The 'cooling board' was: a portable table on which a body was place while the corpse cooler was being used.
True or False: Caskets were sometimes placed on vats of ice to cool the body. True.
The air tight burial case was invented for purposes of preservation.
What chemicals did Dr. Thomas Holmes prefer? zinc chloride and arsenic
Dr. Thomas Holmes experimented with chemicals and cadavers and developed a method of: arterial embalming.
True or False: Dr. Holmes began embalming Army officers who had been killed in battled. True, in the Army Medical Corps, in D.C.
In 1863, when Dr. Holmes set up his private embalming practice, he charged _____________ per embalming. An average of $100 per procedure.
True or False: Dr. Thomas Holmes is known as "The Father of American Embalming." True.
What other honorary title has been given to Dr. Thomas Holmes? "The Father of Modern Embalming."
In 1856, who took out a patent for embalming by chemical injection? J. Anthony Guassardia
True or False: Dr. Holmes also took out a patent for chemical injection embalming. False, he had tried this method earlier in his career, but did not take out a patent.
When did J. Anthony Guassardia take out the patent for chemical injection embalming? in 1856
Where did President Lincoln die? in Washington D.C.
Where was President Lincoln buried? in Springfield, IL.
How many days after death was President Lincoln buried? 20 days
True or False: Lincoln's body was laid in state in the Capital? True
How did Lincoln travel to Springfield? by train, which went through major cities of Philadelphia, Trenton, New York and Albany.
What happened with Lincoln at each train stop? He was taken off the train and there was a public viewing.
True or False: people were positively impressed with how good Lincoln's body looked? True.
True or False: Lincoln's funeral can be seen as a turning point in embalming in America? True. People were impressed with how good he looked, even after so many days of being dead.
What did the general public not know about Lincoln's body during the viewings? His body was beginning to discolor, but the undertakers were touching up his cosmetics at each stop, before the viewings.
What part of the body is most susceptible to quick decomposition? The torso, because all of the internal organs.
What is the origin of the word "hearse?" Stems from the French word 'herse' which had origins in Latin. Latin word 'hirpex' meant rake or harrow.
True or False: Hearses have always been for transporting bodies. False.
What were hearses originally like and how were they used? They were stationary frameworks, spiked on the top with lighted candles.
Bier: A hand stretcher used to carry bodies to the grave.
There word 'bearer' was used because these men: carried the biers.
Bearers were: the four oldest or most prominent men.
True or False: there were people in a procession known as the under-bearers? True. Because the walk to the cemetery could be long, there was often a second set of men following behind. They would relieve the bearers along the procession.
Earliest colonial hearses were: Carts. Often drawn by hand. The procession would walk behind the hearse.
James Cunningham, Son & Co. Was credited with the idea of a horse drawn hearse to carry casketed remains.
The horse drawn hearse was first used in: In 1884.
Hudson Samson: Was the inventor of the oval shaped hearse. It had 8 posts for decoration.
When was the oval shaped hearse invented? In 1889.
When was the Samson Hearse, or 'Oval Shaped Poster Design' used by all prominent undertakers? In 1989.
Who is credited with the Wooden Drape Hearse? Hudson Samson. The drape was carved from wood, not fabric, and cost $4000 to make.
When was the Crane and Breed Processional Hearse introduced? In 1893, at the Chicago World's Fair.
What was the most outstanding funeral car of the 19th Century? The Crane and Breed Processional Hearse.
The Crane and Breed Processional Hearse was: very large, with massive carvings, gold lamps, and gold fringe and tassels.
True or False: Trolley Cars were used as funeral cars. True.
When was the first gasoline powered vehicle introduced? In 1896.
Fred Hulberg of NYC designed a vehicle which: Carried the casket, mourners and flowers. It was 16' long, box-like and was called the Hulberg Funeral Bus.
When was the first motorized ambulance introduced? In 1909.
Who introduced the first motorized hearse, and when? In 1909, Crane and Breed. It was black with very little ornamentation.
What were hearses like in 1910-1920? They were gas powered, replacing trolleys and horse drawn hearses.
What changes were made to hearses after WW1? Hearses were becoming more functional adn decorative. The driver's seat was covered with a roof. Passenger Limosines were introduced for family and pallbearers.
When was the Side-Servicing Feature introduced? In 1926. It had a set of doors on the side of the hearse, which opened to allow the casket to be put in on the side. This was first utilized in crowded cities, where large parking spaces were hard to find.
What color were hearses before the Civil War? Black.
True or False: hearses slowly grew in size and length after the Civil War. True.
Children's hearses were always what color? White.
After the Civil War, what colors were most popular for hearses? Black with a silver or gold stripe. Then grey became popular.
True or False: in 1893 the color purple was used for hearses? True, around the time of the Chicago World's Fair. This trend didn't last long, as the color faded easily.
Motorized hearses after WW1 were: most popular in gray.
True or False: The purchase price of a hearse included a new paint job every six months. True, because they have to be scrubbed and polished before every funeral.
How were flowers transported to funerals? Initially there was a shelf above the casket in the side of the hearse. Later a large touring car was developed to transport flowers.
The correct term for a funeral procession: Cortege.
True or False: In the 19th century, hearses had plumes, feathered boas which stuck up on the top of the hearse. True. The number of plumes signified status.
How many plumes did poor people have on the hearse? None.
What kind of income did 2 plumes signify? A moderate to normal income.
What kind of income did someone with 3 or 4 plumes have? This person was fairly well to do.
5-6 plumes suggested the deceased was: Well off.
8 or more plumes were only used by: The rich.
The order of the cortege: 1. Clergy Car, 2. Flower Car, 3. Honorary Bearers, 4. Active Bearers, 5. Hearse, 6. Immediately family and relatives, 7. Friends.
Created by: kellyrb