Research shows that holding funeral ceremonies to honor a deceased loved one is as old as the human race. People from different civilizations and cultures have tended and cared for their dead. Moreover, they have held funeral rites and memorials, and have built sacred places for the dead. These show that it is innate in the humans to pay their respects to the person who passed away. This practice was not necessary but it was embedded in the culture of the humans.
These memorial services have become a necessity today. Funeral homes near and far have been built for business purposes, yet we at www.gentrygriffey.com remains to be the most cost-effective in the market.
Nonetheless, funeral homes have changed throughout the years. In this article, we from www.gentrygriffey.com will discuss the history of funeral homes.
It all started in 1759, when Anthony Hay of Virginia founded the very first funeral home in American history. He was a cabinet manufacturer who discovered that the pieces of furniture he was making can be turned into coffins. Commonly known as “undertakers” because of their responsibility of memorial service arrangements, furniture makers like Hay began to manufacture what would be caskets today.
Because of the availability of coffins during the mid-eighteenth century, Americans themselves hosted funeral services of a deceased family member. Old and traditional homes in the United States have large rooms, so our ancestors decided to use one solely for the purpose of funeral rites. It was also the American families who tended and dressed the remains, and they just purchase coffins from the undertakers. Moreover, after the funeral service, the coffins were buried in burial plots just outside the family’s house.
This has become an American tradition until the Civil War took place. During this period, a specific park-like place was designated only for burial plots – pretty much like the setting of the modern cemetery. Military cemeteries were also built for the military officials who died in the Civil War. These cemeteries, however, are still in use today.
Furthermore, during the same period, dead bodies of fallen soldiers were needed to be sent back to their respective families. However, because of the long distance, the remains of the soldiers started to decay. Dr. Auguste Renouard, a physician, introduced the principles of the solution to this problem – embalming. Through this process, the dead bodies were preserved and were sent to the families. When President Abraham Lincoln’s body was embalmed and displayed during his travelling funeral, the general public accepted this method of preservation. A few years later, the demand for embalming professionals grew so large that it had officially become a career.
Over the years, funeral directors and morticians became the modern undertakers. Funeral directors grew in number when around ten thousand of them were recognized in 1890. This period can be called the rise of the modern funeral setting because American families recognized the role of funeral homes. Instead of hosting the funerals at home, people started to seek professional services. Moreover, funeral directors and morticians started to open their very own facilities instead of personally visiting the deceased person’s homes to operate their businesses.
In 1920, it was recorded that the United States housed about twenty-four thousand funeral parlors. Holding funeral ceremonies became a sought-after business, and funeral directors started to attend seminars and trainings for the numerous services that they plan to offer. Several packages such as coffin manufacturing, life insurance, flower arrangements, and issuance of death certificates began to rise in the funeral business.
Change is truly the only constant thing in this world. Undertakers were modernized, and so were the coffins. They were replaced by wood caskets which were covered with cloth. It was reported that in the late 50’s a little less than eight hundred companies manufactured these caskets. However, wood was replaced by metal and soon, companies flocked the metal casket manufacturing business. People also preferred metal caskets because of their durability compared to wooden ones.
Funeral ceremonies have changed drastically. Today, funeral services can be availed in funeral chapels or homes. We at www.gentrygriffey.com provides more than just services for the dead; we also offer services for the living. We help the families by lessening the burdens of death certificates, papers, funeral arrangements and other pertinent details so they can invest more time to relieve the sorrow.
Additionally, we provide cremation services for those who prefer this method of body disposition. Because this is relatively more affordable, it has become the Americans’ top choice in funeral services. Visit www.gentrygriffey.com for more details.
Funeral homes near and far have been built for business purposes, yet we at www.gentrygriffey.com remains to be the most cost-effective in the market.