Undertaking, as a profession, grew out of the furniture business, as men who made and sold coffins and burial supplies began to lay out bodies and, later, to embalm them. Undertakers had to convince the public of the need for their services, often by handling the worst cases (accidents, suicides). Rural residents, lacking resources but relying on their neighbors, were the last to accept this profession and the need for embalming. By the end of World War II there were fewer people to do the labor-intensive jobs needed for burial, and undertakers gradually convinced people of the need for their services. This chapter examines such efforts, as well as the role played by women in the profession, cremation, burial insurance and the creation of funeral homes and chapels that brought about the transition from home burials to those handled by funeral industry professionals.
University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.