Living to 120 and Beyond: Americans’ Views on Aging, Medical Advances and Radical Life Extension Pew Research Center (August 2013) If new medical treatments could…
Death + the Economy
June 2, 2013
No funeral money? What to do By Geoff Williams, U.S. News & World Report (May 30, 2013) What’s worse than dying? Maybe dying broke. It…
June 5, 2012
Louisiana Monks Go to Court to Sell Their Caskets Robert Barnes, Washington Post (May 30, 2012) Not very long after God told some at St….
January 7, 2012
Texas Prisoner Burials Are a Gentle Touch in a Punitive System Manny Fernandez, New York Times (January 05, 2012) At a cemetery in Texas, murderers…
December 11, 2011
In Tough Times, a Boom in Cremations as a Way to Save Money Kevin Sack, The New York Times (December 09, 2011) If current American…
October 9, 2011
Under Recent Policy, Cook County Begins Donating Unclaimed Bodies after 2 Weeks Cadavers that are left in morgue are given to medical research Becky Schlikerman,…
April 22, 2011
As China’s Income Gap Grows, Tombs Are a Target Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times (April 22, 2011) Since 1997, official policy limits the size…
February 20, 2011
Donating Body Can Save Families Money Dan McFeely, The Indianapolis Star (February 08, 2011) A short post on a perennial topic for the Death Reference…
January 16, 2011
Donate Your Brain, Save a Buck Gary Stix, Scientific American (January 4, 2011) Hard times are making tissue donation more appealing The Great Recession…
December 13, 2010
This story has affected me in a way that many others about death have not. The complete and utter sense of tragedy permeating it is…
December 10, 2010
Bringing the Coffin Industry Back From the Dead
How barcodes and touch screens are resuscitating a casket factory
Ben Austen, The Atlantic (December 2010)
Modern, industrial casket making is a manufacturing business like any other, but for the fact that most people never think about modern, industrial casket making. The above article in The Atlantic does an excellent job of capturing how American casket making has become a largely automated industry, similar to the auto business.
This article is also about changes to the American labor force but in a decidedly niche business. It turns out that the American casket industry is suffering from many of the same problems faced by manufacturers all across the country. You can read about many of those death and dead body industries in the Death + the Economy section.
Out of curiosity, I went to YouTube to look for casket/coffin making videos and found the following vintage 1970s film. The YouTube video is actually instructive because it shows how the casket industry used to manufacture caskets before the introduction of the automation technologies.
Bringing the Coffin Industry Back From the Dead How barcodes and touch screens are resuscitating a casket factory Ben Austen, The Atlantic (December 2010) Modern,…