Pattern of Later Nineteenth Century Funerals 1880-1920 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Pattern of Later Nineteenth Century Funerals 1880-1920 Deck (59)
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  1. Family reaction and behavior is universal
  2. The great migration

First Response to Death


To death this is universal, to say the least, a shattering experience.

Family Reaction and Behavior to Death


Funeral mood of gloom originated in England and was reinforced during ___ ___ _______ by southern and eastern Europeans who entered the United States betwen 1880-1920.

The Great Migration


  • Mostly Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Hebrews fleeing feudalism.
  • Their funeral orientation was the pompous, elaborate rigidity prescribed prolong, morbid, feudal-type funeral with stiff formality was transplanted after 1880 into the United States during the great migration.
  • These people wanted to enter the US due to the industrial revolution with plentiful jobs. They came by the millions.

Who Came and Funeral Orientation of the Great Migration


Hospitals and nursing home deaths are a phenomenon of the 20th century (after 1945).

Most Deaths Occurred at Home (Before 1945)


Was rapidly changing during the Great Migration; from a rural agricultural society to an urban, industrial, commercial life style.

American Life


  • The undertaker played an important advisory role, thus preparation of the deceased was delegated to the undertaker.
  • Preparation procedure was either ice or embalming by 1900, and was mostly done in the home. After 1900, more embalming than ice preservation.

Procedures in the Cities Relating to Funeralization


  • Often no undertaker was available and funeralization tasks were performed within the family unit.
  • Preparing procedure was again limited to the availability of the undertaker. This varied from simply washing and dressing by the family members, usually women, to ice preservation and by 1900, embalming begins to dominate.
  • Funeralization related tasks in the rural areas was more of less the shared responsibilities of the family and neighbors (or by undertakers if available).

Procedures in the Rural Areas Relating to Funeralization


The concept of the funeral director replacing the sexton, liveryman, and cabinet maker, appears first in the large cities as _____ _______. Coffin Trust- ______ _____ controlling all aspects- stopped by Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Furnishing Undertakers


  • A milking stool, cooling board with wicker panels that could be folded in half, gravity bottle of at least one gallon volume, arsenic and metallic poisons in solution, instruments including rubber hoses, trocars, scalpels, and drain tubes, were the needed equipment.
  • Features were posed, that is eye were closed, mouth was closed, injection usually through left axillary artery, drainage through the right axillary vein and following injection of the arterial system some attempt to preserve the viscera was made.
  • By this time te rudiments of mortuary cosmetics were available. The deceased was dressed and waked on a draped cooling board of slumber couch.

Outline in Detail "Home Embalming Procedures"


With this invention, more thorough arterial injection, venous drainage, and aspiration of the cavities, prior to treatment of the viscera, was now possible.

Hand Pump and Jug Method


Provided by the undertaker to wake the embalmed deceased until the casket arrived. It was adjustable at one end and was upholstered in red or blue mohair.

Slumber Couch


  1. Notification was done by telegram
  2. Casket Selection
  3. Other Arrangements, included as part of the undertaker's duties, by 1880 (full itemization).

Funeral Arrangements 1880-1920- "The Great Migration"


  • Usually selected from a catalog
  • Various types were available by 1880
  • Delivery problems

Casket Selection


(Furnishing undertaker), and sometimes from an undertaker's selection room, or from a manufacturers showroom if in a large city.

The Casket was Usually Selected from a Catalog


Cloth covered wood and metal in various designs and colors, all trimmed with some kind of interior, and elaborate hardware were available.

Various Types of Caskets were Available by 1880


Existed but by 1880 most undertakers could be supplied within 24-36 hours. Most undertakers warehoused back up units.

Delivery Problems


  1. First call
  2. Brief record of the deceased's life
  3. Clergy information form
  4. Cemetery
  5. Pallbearers
  6. Florist
  7. Secure permits
  8. Transportation rentals
  9. Chair rental

Other Arrangements, Included as Part of the Undertaker's duties, by 1880 (Full Itemization)


Embalming is performed in the home or use of a corpse cooler (different than today).

First Call


Maintained by the funeral establishment.

Brief Record of the Deceased's Life


Including type of service to be held.

Clergy information Form


Information regarding lot, grave liner, etc.



May have to hire.



Including crepe or scarf for the door (door badge).



Burial permits, transit permits, and file death certificates (after WWI Health departments are born replacing church records).

Secure Permits


Carriage and hearse.

Transportation Rentals


And other needed equipment for the home funeral- flower stands, etc.

Chair Rental


Urban development



Agriculture based.

Rural Environment


By 1880, this was the role of the undertaker

Coordinator of Tasks