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ONE MAN’S DEMISE IS ANOTHER MAN’S GAIN: THE GROWTH OF THE FUNERAL INDUSTRY ON THE IOWA FRONTIER

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Author(s): Silvano A. Wueschner

Journal: Essays in Economic & Business History
ISSN 0896-226X

Volume: 19;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2001;
Original page

ABSTRACT
The paper that follows examines changes in funerary procedures and the growth of the undertaking profession in southern Iowa. Funeral arrangements and cost changed over time, and the provision of rudimentary undertaking services moved from the back room of the local store or carpenter shop to premises dedicated in their entirety to the business of dying. This represented a transformation in the way that the funerary arrangements were being conducted. Funerals became more elaborate and there was now made available a choice of accessories to send the departed off in style. Andwhat had been a family affair was by varying degrees being entrusted in to the hands of the nascent undertaking profession as dying was becoming a prosperous business.
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