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Funeral Related Items For the discussion of Funeral Related items as used on funeral coaches, etc.

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Old 04-05-2017, 02:18 AM
Walter Suiter Walter Suiter is offline
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Default ?? for the Funeral guys

The attached pic is of a iron/steel box rotting in the storage basement of an abandoned Cemetery Chapel.

It could have been placed there anyplace between 1912 and 1980.

Based on what I see in the pic, multiple lid securing latches particularly, I'm thinking it may be an old transport casket for people who died of contagious diseases in time gone by. There was a large Tuberculosis Hospital a mile away. There was also a poorhouse and County Hospital.

Definitely heavy, and rather odd it wasn't stolen given the Chapel has been boarded up for years.
I refuse to believe it was the toolbox or parts box for the water powered elevator that carried caskets up and down for storage when it was too cold to dig graves.
Thanks in advance for answers
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:34 AM
Martin Harvey Martin Harvey is offline
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To me it looks more like an iron vault.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:47 PM
Richard Vyse Richard Vyse is offline
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I've got to go with a burial vault as well. We just ran across one similar to that one here when I first arrived. Remember in the old days things were far more gothic than today.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:31 PM
Paul Steinberg Paul Steinberg is offline
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Might you have a picture of the inside?
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:17 PM
Walter Suiter Walter Suiter is offline
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Sorry guys, I can't go with a cast iron vault because of the 8 carry handles.

I only have 1 picture of the box Paul, but I'll toss in a couple pics of the chapel/ warehouse. Check out the elevator that brought the deceased down from the chapel. It was operated by water pressure from the city water mains.

1 minute the deceased is the center of attention on that little stage with a pipe organ playing, then the Cemetery employee turns a valve and the box goes down. Pretty much the entire basement was racks to stack caskets 3 or 4 high waiting for Spring thaw.

Place opened in 1912, and lighting was originally either candles or oil lamps, note the ropes to the fixtures.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:00 PM
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My first reaction when I saw was than it was an early Ziegler case...
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:06 PM
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Kurt Arends Kurt Arends is offline
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Wouldn't that be somewhat odd to have Winter storage in the basement of a building? There would be Winters where it may never freeze down there.

Are you sure that there isn't/wasn't an old retort in that basement?? There is a crematory in the Quad Cities(oldest crematory west of the Mississippi) that still has a lowering device in the center of the chapel that lowered the decedent from a platform in the chapel down to the basement where it would be transferred to the original retort in the basement.

I am with Kent on this one. There are scads of old "Ziegler" type shipping containers still out there in the basements/garages of old funeral homes.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:07 PM
Walter Suiter Walter Suiter is offline
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Close.
Maybe I should mention until 1951 Rochester was the home of National Casket.

Kurt & I were typing at the same time.
That's definitely winter storage, quite common in this area. Figure if it was too cold to dig a grave that basement was pretty cold too. Heat, such as it was, was only in the chapel itself, and only when needed. By the time the City put automatic heat in there the pipe organ was already ruined according to organists.

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Old 04-05-2017, 09:16 PM
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I sent out the photo and have several answers:
Greensboro, NC replies: "It was for temporary storage for a casket with a body, 1940's vintage"
Cottonwood,Arizona replies: "My guess is definitely Ziegler. The handles are from Ziegler not a vault, not big enough for a vault..."
Forest City, NC: replies: "I say a Ziegler case. The handles look more in line with casket liner than vault to me"...
Some of it, can be solved by the SIZE... I can't tell the depth from the photo, so there's the litmus test, IF it will go in a fully stripped casket, you have a Ziegler case, if it is big enough to hold the casket, then "temporary storage" idea floats pretty well...
So, size matters...
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:11 PM
Paul Steinberg Paul Steinberg is offline
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Does this funeral chapel still exist? It looks like a beautiful old structure that with some modernization could be used again, except for the water lift. Are the pictures something that you took, or are they from a historical site?
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