Lifestyle

National Museum of Funeral History Removes The Shroud On The Business of Dying

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Tucked away in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Houston sits the nation’s largest collection of funeral artifacts, including items used at the funerals of Michael Jackson and President John F. Kennedy. Opened in 1992, the National Museum of Funeral History aims to honor the compassion and dedication of the funeral service industry, as well as to educate the public on the history of funerals as cultural rituals. Featuring over 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, the National Museum of Funeral History welcomes thousands of visitors a year, some perhaps seeking the macabre and others looking to shed some light on a largely obscured industry.

The Nation’s Largest Collection of Funeral Artifacts

National Museum of Funeral History

Photo: Facebook/National Museum of Funeral History

Robert L. Waltrip saw his decades-long dream come to fruition with the ground-breaking of the museum in the early 1990s. Waltrip wanted a place to showcase artifacts used in important funerals that would otherwise be discarded. The first major exhibit at the museum was a display of vintage hearses which is a perennial crowd favorite.

Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes

Popemobile

Photo: Facebook/National Museum of Funeral History

Another popular display at the museum is the Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes exhibit, which opened in 2005. The exhibit was expanded in 2008 and includes an authentic “Popemobile” (the vehicle in which the Pope rides during special visits), as well as Swiss Guard uniforms. The newest expansion of the Pope exhibit features premium sound and lighting, giving visitors the feeling of attending a funeral for a Pope and an appreciation for the pomp and circumstance that accompanies a Papal funeral.

The History of Cremation Coming in 2018

cremation
Photo: Facebook/National Museum of Funeral History

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