Historical Hearses

Drawing from the Museum's rare collection of funeral service vehicles, Historical Hearses sheds light on the evolution of funerary customs. The vehicles selected for the exhibit range from the elegant horse-drawn funeral carriages of the 19th century to the actual hearses used in the state funeral services of US Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford as well as the funeral of Grace Kelly.

Additional highlights include an elaborate glass-paneled funeral carriage made in Germany in 1850; a 1916 Packard funeral bus, used in place of the funeral procession, large enough to hold the coffin, pallbearers and up to 20 mourners; and a 1921 motorized hearse, whose opulent, hand-carved wooden panels exemplified the extravagance of craftsmanship among hearse manufacturers during the era.

Visit the exhibit's photo gallery to view some of the most unique vehicles on display.