Thursday, June 7, 2012

Any Day Above Ground is a Good One*

*Trademarked expression of the Museum of Funeral History in Houston, TX...the museum we went to see today. We've run out of malls to keep cool in, now it's time to start hitting the museums! Couldn't go see Jimmy Buffett playing tonight, all sold out (and too expensive)-- couldn't go see Willie Nelson playing a gig in downtown Houston, all sold we might as well see what's happening at the Museum of Funeral History--not a whole lot...Everybody's DEAD! Tee hee hee....But it was VERY interesting, this is a museum celebrating unique national treasures like famous hearses and it has the country's larges display of funeral service stuff! (Kinda morbid if you ask me, says E.) But it really wasn't...It was interesting and there's lots of cool stuff to was actually very beautiful and even emotionally moving at times......

It's bigger than we thought--30,500 square feet of exhibits--everything from how the Egyptians, the "first" embalmers, did their later embalming methods....This picture of Ramses the Great shows the Egyptians highly skilled embalming methods...Sorry to hit you with the macabre so early in the blog! Such an interesting society!
They had an exhibit on 19th century mourning customs....and international exhibits like how the "Day of the Dead" is celebrated in Latin American countries, and a display of the fantasy coffins from Ghana.....The coffins chosen represent the most important part of the person's life and cost more than what the family can afford. Many families have to help pay for the coffin.

There was a HUGE exhibit of the Lives and Deaths of the Popes....the actual Popemobile used by Pope John Paul II is there on display. Huge rooms devoted to actual scenes of a pope's preparation for death, the voting of a new pope, how his coffin is made room after room and scene after scene with beautiful music to accompany your viewing....This portion of the museum was larger than any other part of the museum.

There is a wonderful collection of hearses from an 1832 horse drawn hearse to modern day ones used for American presidents. The hearses were fantastic and beautiful...This one was German, used in 1860.

We liked the 1921 Rockfalls hearse made of six different kinds of wood and which was used in part of presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Regan's funerals.

Another enjoyable section was "Funerals of the Famous"....lots of artifacts and information displayed about stars, sports figures and political people. Sparky enjoyed guessing the epitaphs of the rich and famous on an interactive large screen display.....

There was a great story about one of the Munchkins folks that starred in the Wizard of Oz...he went on to tour the country in the Wienermobile--that iconic Oscar Mayer sausage shaped car..remember the Oscar Mayer wiener whistles?

There are some really interesting coffins on display....a money casket....

A coffin for interesting story behind that involving a family murder involving a child and suicide THAT was morbid!
There were the tools of the trade on display..Here's a "keyhole fumigator"...
If the deceased had a contagious disease like cholera or smallpox, the undertaker would heat formaldehyde, turning it into gas then stick the hose into the keyhole and "gas" the room.

After seeing all these things, and all the black hearses, Sparky was starting to feel like a basket case...

Cost of admission: 9.00 for seniors...not bad....We enjoyed our visit today to the Museum of Funeral History and highly recommend it BUT-- only if you are in good spirits--heh, heh, heh!
One of many ornately carved hearses on display


  1. Sounds like a fun tour. Any day upright and breathing has is just awesome!

  2. ewwwww kinda a gruesome tour at that!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  3. Now that's what I call a unique museum; not sure if we'll visit it, but I enjoyed reading about your experience.

  4. Interesting. How do you find these places?