Originally, the wooden or metal framework over the coffin
was called a hearse. It was decorated with numerous spikes to hold burning
candles. Sometime in the 17th century, people started using the word to refer
to not only the construction above the coffin, but to the vehicle that carried
the casket to the grave.
Early hearses were hand-drawn. As time went on, families
started to choose rural cemeteries instead of traditional church grounds.
Caskets had to be transported greater distances. People wanted to go out in
style and ordered elaborately decorated coffins in exotic woods. The hearses
became fancier and heavier. They needed horsepower, not manpower. The first
American horse-drawn hearses date back to the mid nineteenth century. A typical
horse-drawn hearse of that period cost about $1,500.
• Historically accurate, highly detailed model
• Laser cut basswood
• Basswood wheel rims & spokes
• Cast Britannia metal axles & shafts
• Machine turned aluminum wheel hubs
• Photo-etched brass ornamentation
• 5 sheets of detailed plans
• 48-page illustrated instruction manual
Instructions & prototype model by Ken Foran
Length: 13” Height: 8” Width: 5” Scale: 1:12