15. Mar, 2016

His and Hearse.

Like them or loath them we are all going to end up in one some day? Hearses have been around for generations. Starting off as a hand cart that would be pushed through the streets and a man shouting 'bring out your dead' while ringing a bell during the Middle Ages. The humble hand cart soon developed into a horse drawn carriage like that Charles Dickens wrote about in his Victorian novel Oliver Twist. 

However it wasn't until the late 1920's that hearses started to get engines. Even then undertakers where still using the traditional method of the horse and carriage, and in some rural area the hand cart for delivering coffins to houses a day or two before the funeral. Back then the body would be washed and dressed at home, where the coffin would be brought to put the body in and then the traditional wake would take place. Just a little point of interest. What we call a wake nowadays is not what a wake was back then. A wake took place before the funeral, where the deceaseds family would gather round in the home and have a party and make as much noise as possible. The idea being if the deceased did not wake up then they where deffinitley dead!

As time progressed hearses got more modern and funeral homes started trading in their horses and carriage for a more quicker, warmer and dryer motorised hearse. Also with a hearse able to go faster meant that funeral directors could get more funerals done in a day meaning that there profits increased. The hearse of today is a far cry from the hearse of the past. Now we have top of the range luxury car manufacturers making hearses as people are wanting grace and luxury for their loved ones last ride.