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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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My hubby and I just got back from the National Museum of Funeral History, and I have tons of pics of antique hearses (horse drawn and autos), coffins and other goodies!

National Museum of Funeral History

Fun Trivia:
Black hearses were used for adults and white for children. Black horses were typically used for MALE corpses. Children or women were generally white horses. The white horses cost more to rent, as they were harder to come by.

Cast iron caskets were very popular around Civil War times - as they were air tight and kept the bodies "fresher" than wooden ones.

The term "basket case" was from this time period. Woven baskets were used to hold the bodies (what they could find) of the dead. To be a basket case was to be a total mess... and that's sort of what the term now means.

President Lincoln was instrumental in furthering embalming during the Civil War - so as to ensure as many soldiers as possible made it back home to have a decent burial.




It was fascinatingly creepy! I'm not going to overload this with all the pics, so here are some of the highlights:



1900 child's horse-drawn hearse.


1951 Cadillac Hearse


1936 Buick S&S Hearse - unusual for it's light/dark green paint job


1973 Mercedes Hearse - Princess Grace's funeral hearse


1800s Hand-carved horse drawn hearse


Custom coffin for 3 - Ordered in the early 1900s by a husband and wife. They were heartbroken over the death of their only child, and decided to have the husband kill the wife and then he would commit suicide, and they wanted their child dug up and re-buried with them in one big casket. (Now days, if a couple came in someplace and said this, they'd lock them in the loony bin, but the funeral home BUILT THE COFFIN FOR THEM). They never picked it up, and MANY years later, the wife called the funeral home and asked for a refund - but as the funeral home had changed hands so many times that no one had proof of payment, they told her that she'd have to provide proof. They never heard back, and later donated the casket to the museum.


Embalming setup for the early 1900s.


Replica of the coffin type used for the Clantons after the infamous shootout at the O K Corral. The top has a wood veneer slide to reveal a window box for viewing the corpse.


A display model glass/brass coffin for Snow White - built for a funeral convention... Um, really guys, I want to be buried in a Disney nightmare!


For anyone that wants more detail on the horse drawn hearses, or to see more, let me know as I did take some detail shots of things like the carving and lanterns and there were lots more hearses and coffins and such.

Hubby and I had a blast!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #6
I can't stop thinking about building a replica of the Snow White coffin and putting a decaying Snow in there... sort of a twisted, evil ending to the fairy tale where the prince never showed and she just rotted away...
 

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Hauntless
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What an interesting thread! I was just fascinated. Thanks you so much for thinking of doing this.... very cool.




I can't stop thinking about building a replica of the Snow White coffin and putting a decaying Snow in there... sort of a twisted, evil ending to the fairy tale where the prince never showed and she just rotted away...
OK, that is such a cool idea!!!!!!
 

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Love the Snow White idea! Extremely creepy!

The Museum looks so interesting and creepy! Would be a good place to visit in October!
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Discussion Starter #11
More pics...

I have to post a couple more, just because...


A Sleigh (or is it slay? :rolleyes: ) hearse from the mid 1800s.


The oldest hearse in the place: circa 1830.


Detail of the black hearse from the first post. The "fabric and tassels" are carved.


1916 Packard funeral BUS! The only surviving example, this 1916 funeral bus was built to carry not only the coffin, but all of the flower arrangements and pallbearers and 20 mourners in the back! It unfortunately didn't stay in service very long because during one funeral, the weight distribution unbalanced it going up a hill, tipped the whole thing backwards and dumped the mourners and coffin out of the back... it was retired pretty quickly.


The poor widow would be enshrouded in dull black (no luster allowed to signify the shine had gone out of her life). She was only allowed to wear black for the next two years - but dull purple was allowed after the first year of mourning.


Exact replica of President Lincoln's casket. Apparently nicer caskets at this time were wood, but covered with broadcloth so no wood actually showed. Lincoln's was studded with silver studs and stars and thick white fringe.

Okay, I'll stop now. I just geeked out so much about all of this, and the only ones who could appreciate it beside my hubby are the folks on this forum! :eek:
 

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Very interesting, Frankie's Girl. I had recently seen a white childrens hearse on ebay. Did they have the Motor Home Hearse? The coffin went in a "basement" compartment and the mourners rode in style in the Luxury Coach. Thanks for bringing us those pics and facts.
 

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Thanks for sharing. Most of those are very unique; I've definitely never seen a sled-like hearse before (could come in handy here in Michigan sometimes:D).
 

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~zombie hunter~
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I can't stop thinking about building a replica of the Snow White coffin and putting a decaying Snow in there... sort of a twisted, evil ending to the fairy tale where the prince never showed and she just rotted away...
HAHA what a hoot I LOVE that idea.
Snow White always got on my nerves. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more casket pics. :)
 
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