The Origin Of The Hearse

The hearse, some find it creepy, some find it cool and some don’t think much about them….until they are in one. The funeral hearse was originally a wooden or meta framework which stood over the coffin. It came with numerous spikes to support burning candles and these spikes resembled a harrow which led to the name “herse” which means harrow in latin.

The first hearses were moved by hand and then later horse drawn. Electric hearses were introduced in the early 1900’s and then gas powered versions began appearing. Most hearses were on car chassis with custom bodywork in the back to carry the coffin.

American Hearses

There are two basic styles of hearses. The first has opaque rear windows,  basically concealing the coffin. Another has large windows and narrow pillars, revealing and displaying the coffin.

Because hearses have limited duty with short driving distances, many hearses live very long service lives. It is not uncommon to find hearses with service duties of over 20 years or more.

Non Commercial Hearse Usage

Because of the morbid nature of the hearse, many people have taken on driving and maintaining hearses as a hobby. They are a unique vehicle that people use to express themselves.

This website is dedicated in fact to those people who love the hearse and want to share their passion for this slightly odd form of transportation. The macabre is alive and well in the United States

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