Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Museum of Funeral History

Amanda has been eyeing this museum since Glory first moved to Texas and informed us that there is actually a museum of funeral history, and it is 10 minutes from her apartment.

We found a rather expansive museum containing various exhibits.

There were dozens of hearses from various time periods.

Funeral bus, designed as an attempt to cut down on long funeral processions

Japanese hearse
We also saw various styles of coffins.  This is a 3 person coffin.  It was built at request of a couple whose child had died.  They decided that the husband would kill his wife then commit suicide, and they would all be buried together.  However, they got cold feet and went on living for many years.  When the husband died (of natural causes), the wife went back to the coffin maker and said they no longer needed the coffin and asked for her money back.  She was denied.

3 person coffin

There was also a novelty money coffin, used for display.

Funeral bling

Novelty coffins

There was an exhibit on the history of embalming, from ancient Egypt, to the Civil War, to present day.

Civil War battlefield embalming station
We also saw examples of how people mourned and buried the dead throughout the ages.

There was an exhibit on papal funerals.

Recreation of Pope John Paul II's funeral

Traditionally, the dead pope was hit on the forehead with the silver hammer to make sure he was dead.
This tradition evolved over time into breaking his ceremonial ring with the hammer,
and covering his face with a white cloth.



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