The Rise of the Queen City Embalmer: The Development of the Funeral Industry in Cincinnati

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Lydia Christopher Tracy Teslow


By Lydia Christopher, History

Advisor: Tracy Teslow

Presentation ID: Room417_5

Abstract: In the latter half of the 19th century, the United States was in a period of change. Few industries better exemplify this period of change than the development and expansion of the funeral industry. From carpenters and merchants to undertakers and embalmers, the development of the culture surrounding death was quickly evolving as technologies arose and needs increased. By examining the influences of scientific innovations and the rise of the middle-class in Cincinnati during the latter half of the nineteenth century, a perspective that has never been taken shows how the growth of the funeral industry in Cincinnati mirrors that of the rest of the country. However, it also shows how many innovations to the industry such as education, professionalization, and legitimization were directly impacted and inspired by the contributions to the field of Cincinnati.

Article Details

Podium Presentation -- Room 417 -- People & Place