The Evolution of the Funeral Industry

March 20, 2018 8:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When a loved one passes away, we usually turn to a funeral planner in Lake City, FL to help us arrange the details of memorial services, caskets and more. It’s hard to imagine handling all of these tasks alone, but that’s exactly what people used to do before the funeral industry began to evolve in the 20th century.

Before funeral homes, many people were buried on the private property of their families, rather than in a cemetery. It was only after communities began to grow and expand that common areas were established for burial. Here are a few more things you might not know about the evolution of the funeral industry.

Undertakers shoulder responsibility

The term “undertaker” originally referred to someone who literally “undertook” all of the responsibilities when it came to making arrangements for burial. These individuals were also most commonly furniture makers. This makes sense when you think about it—they could craft the caskets, and then offer the further service of helping with burial logistics.

Embalming gains favor

Most of us have heard about the impressive embalming rituals of ancient Egypt, but here in the United States, embalming didn’t really enter the picture until the Civil War. It gained in popularity at this point because dead soldiers needed to be preserved in order to make it back to their homes for burial. Embalming began to be a popular choice for people after that, so it was eventually introduced into the options for funeral arrangements.

Caskets become business

From the days of undertakers making coffins, the industry soon grew to include independent manufacturers who specialized solely in coffins. By the mid-1900s, there were more than 700 such companies.

While there are still some smaller companies making caskets, consolidation of the industry means more choices for consumers, especially because the preference today is for metal caskets, which are more difficult for small businesses to manufacture.

Families making funeral arrangements have a wide selection of coffins available, so it’s best to speak with a qualified funeral planner in Lake City, FL to learn about all of your options.

Families still manage business

Traditionally, funeral homes have been owned and operated by families, with the business being passed down from generation to generation. In the 1960s, funeral homes started to undergo a consolidation that saw larger companies acquiring a number of family-run funeral homes—and even cemeteries.

These companies generally retained the original business name, staff and even original owner in order to maintain the community’s trust and loyalty.

Despite this consolidation, the funeral home industry today is still predominately run by small, family-owned, independent businesses.

Growing options

Competition is a good way to encourage innovation, and funeral homes are no exception. Today, there are more choices than ever, including caskets, services, cremation and more.

ICS Cremation & Funeral Home is a family-owned and operated funeral planner in Lake City, FL. We are dedicated to honoring your loved ones through affordable, high quality funeral options. Give us a call to learn more about our services.

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