Not only did Albert Richardson invent the butter churn, he went on to invent the casket lowering device in 1894. His patent consisted of a series of pulleys and ropes which ensured uniformity when a coffin was being lowered into a grave. It’s something still used in cemeteries today.
Current models have sides that can easily be adjusted depending on the size of the coffin or casket, or the size of the grave itself. Thick nylon straps hold the coffin. Sometimes a roller is added to one end of the device to help the pall bearers guide the coffin onto those straps.
In the lower right hand corner of this photo, you’ll see a little handle. That’s the brake. Once the brake is released the weight of the casket slowly takes it down into the grave.
Once the casket is all the way down, the green straps are unhooked on one side and then pulled under the casket and out.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER: Lisa Herbert is a cemetery wanderer, journalist and author of The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan an informative, modern and quirky workbook and funeral planning guide for those who want to prepare for the inevitable. The third edition is available in Australia for $29.95. You can buy it here. For international buyers, check out The Bottom Drawer eBook for AU$15.99 on Apple Books, Kobo, Booktopia and Google Books.