Written by Samantha Watson
There are museums for just about everything. Mustard, hammers, even moist towelettes.
But if you’re in the funeral care profession, there are plenty of museums that might be right up your alley. Here are a few:
National Museum of Funeral History
We’d be remiss to not include this one. The National Museum of Funeral History, located in Houston, has America’s largest collection of authentic, historical funeral service items.
Here you can learn about the history of caskets, coffins, hearses, famous funerals, and so much more. Tickets are a reasonable $10 per adult, $9 per senior (55+) or veteran, $8 per SCI employee with ID badge or business card, $7 per child aged 6 to 11, and free for children 5 and younger.
The Mütter Museum is America’s finest museum of medical history, and features collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments.
The best part about this museum is that it’s located in Philadelphia, which means you can pay it a visit if you’re heading to the 2016 NFDA International Convention & Expo in the same city. Tickets are $16 per adult, $14 per senior (65+), $13 per military member with ID, $11 per student with ID or child aged 6 to 17, and free for children 5 and younger.
Museum of Death
The Museum of Death was so popular at its original location in Hollywood, that they opened a second location in New Orleans. It was founded to fill the void of death education in the U.S. and features collections of body bags, coffins, mortician and autopsy instruments, taxidermy, and crime scene and morgue photos from famous murders. Tickets are $15 for everyone.
Museum of Osteology
Thought the Museum of Osteology features skeletons from all kinds of animals, it also has a focus on the human skeleton and how it differs from others. Located in Oklahoma City, you can purchase tickets for $8 per adult, $7 per child aged 3 to 12, and free for children 3 and younger.
Morbid Anatomy Museum
To the public, it may be morbid. But to most funeral directors, the Morbid Anatomy Museum is likely something you’re used to seeing every day.
The exhibits change frequently at this museum, so it’s best if you call ahead to see what’s on the lineup. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, pay it a visit! Tickets are $8 per adult, $6 per senior or student, and free for children 12 and younger.
Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum
On its own, the Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum doesn’t seem like the type of place that would be of interest to funeral directors. What makes this museum unique is that in 2011, it acquired the entire collection of the former Museum of Funeral Customs.
The collection features embalming tools, coffins, and funeral paraphernalia from various cultures and times. The best part? Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.
William Lafferty Memorial Funeral and Carriage Collection
A small exhibit in West Union, Ohio, the William Lafferty Memorial Funeral and Carriage Collection features a collection of both motorized and horse-drawn antique hearses. It is only open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment.
Got any other museum suggestions for fellow morticians? Leave them in the comments below, and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter for updates on funeral home news, innovative ideas, and the ways we can make things easier for you and the families you serve.