Article Category: Funereal Friday

Seated Burial Casket

Posted Friday, Nov 13

SEATED BURIAL CASKET,  Patent No. 964439
Application filed December 18, 1909, Patented July 12, 1910

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, ANGELO RAFFAELE LERRO, a subject of the King of Italy, residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have invented certain Improvements in Burial Caskets, of which the following is a specification.

The object of my invention is to overcome certain objections to which an ordinary burial casket or coffin is subject both from the viewpoint of sentiment and that of sanitation. This object I attain in the manner hereinafter set forth, reference being had to the accompanying drawing, in which Figure 1 is a vertical sectional view of a burial casket constructed in accordance with my invention; and Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the means employed for supporting the body.

Many persons object to the ordinary burial casket or coffin from reasons of sentiment, because of the unpleasant associations attending the thought of decay resulting from such a disposal of the dead, while others object, for sanitary reasons, to the pollution of the soil and watercourses by the products of putrefaction or decay of a human body interred in a perishable casket. In carrying out my invention, therefore, I prove a casket which is practically indestructible, is hermetically sealed, provides for the disposal of the body in a natural posture, and is transparent in order to permit a full view of the body during the time between death and ultimate interment, if the body is to be interred. 

In order to aid in retaining the body in a natural posture the stool is provided with head and arm rests as shown in Fig. 2. The arm rests project upward from the stool, one at each side of the same, and are provided at the top with yokes for fitting under the arm-pits, these rests being composed of members, one telescoping into the other, and adjustable to different heights, set screws serving to secure them in position when properly adjusted. The head rests are free to turn and are also vertically adjustable in openings , in a bar which connects the lower members of the arm rests , other set screws securing them in position when adjusted.

Each head rest has at the upper end, a bent finger, said fingers engaging the jaws and serving to support the same, as well as to hold the head in its proper position. When in use, both the head and arm rests are hidden by the garments with which the body is clothed, as shown in Fig. 1.

The base is preferably provided with a recess to receive and prevent the spreading over the base of the liquid matter usually evacuated from a human body after death.

In testimony whereof, I have signed my name to this specification, in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.

ANGELO RAFFAELE LERRO. Witnesses KATE’A. BEADLE, HAMILTON D. TURNER.

Excerpts from official letter, December 18, 1909

Subscribe today, or order any of our highly collectible issues online in our Shop

***

Check back every Friday for another nugget of funereal miscellany!

Other Recent Articles

Issue 35 Available Now!

Issue 35 Available Now!

It’s our first issue of 2022 and what a way to start the year – the inspirational story of Rhonda Keyes Pleasants details a fortuitous encounter that led her to the profession – our People article is compelling on many levels. Places visits the beautiful and historic...

read more
Jack Backer

Jack Backer

At first glance, John Willmott “Jack” Backer, III – age 16, tall, handsome, varsity tennis player and straight-A sophomore at Sayre School in Lexington, Kentucky – appears to be a typical teenager who enjoys tennis and playing guitar, especially Southern gospel and...

read more
Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary occupies the historic Cedar Grove estate nestled in north Knoxville, Tennessee. When one arrives at the mortuary, surrounded by flowering dogwood trees, the stately antebellum era house, with wide, inviting porches, is reminiscent of a simpler time...

read more
Kenneth W. Poe

Kenneth W. Poe

First generation funeral directors are fearless. With either none or very little familial connection to a funeral home, stories vary widely as to what initial interest or curiosity eventually evolved into a career. Dinner disruptions, missed family gatherings, working...

read more
Issue 34 Available Now!

Issue 34 Available Now!

Join us as we wrap up another year, and while deliveries of everything around the world are apparently delayed off the coast of San Diego, we’re bringing you best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a loaded December issue sure to satisfy. At 68, and proving...

read more

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to periodically receive article updates, industry news, and details about new issues before they are released.

The Magazine