During the Civil War, an estimated 620,000 men died, many of the deaths due to non-combat related disease. Families wanted their loved one shipped home in order to give them a proper farewell. The bodies would decompose by the time they were returned home, thus the practice of embalming began to emerge. The death of President Lincoln was also another reason embalming became mainstream. When he was killed in 1865, his wife requested Lincoln to be embalmed. A funeral train carried his preserved body throu
In 1865, when Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, the funerary arts were still just a side-gig for what was then the Dodge Furniture Company. Preserving the deceased’s remains through embalming wasn’t the mortician’s staple that it is today. Burials were held soon after death to avoid the natural decay process.That changed when Lincoln’s funeral train, dubbed “The Lincoln Special” carried the dead president’s remains by train on a two-week long journey from Washington D.C. to his home state of Illinois, stopping in 180 cities along the way for a series of open casket processions.The tens-of-thousands of mourners around the country must have been impressed by the posthumous preservation of the president, because shortly after, embalming became the norm, and the mortuary industry was launched.
It’s not just in Philadelphia either. Communities across the country turn to crowdfunding. NerdWallet obtained data from four popular third-party crowdfunding sites. They found that the “Funerals, Memorials & Tributes” category is not only one of the largest, it’s the fastest growing. And on top of that, funeral crowdfunding campaigns tend to raise more money than other charitable fundraisers, with the average campaign raising $3,000. In fact, since 2010, more than $340 million has been raised for funeral-related campaigns.