Why Do Hearses Have S-Shaped Scrolls Where the Back Windows Should Be?
Article originally appeared on Mental Floss
Those diagonal irons on the rear quarter panel of hearses are called “landau bars.” They are purely decorative today, but they once served a purpose and are now in place as a nod to history.
The landau carriage was invented in Germany in the mid-18th century. Lightweight and suspended on elliptical springs, this four-in-hand coach was a precursor to today’s convertible cars in that it had a collapsible roof. The soft folding top on the original model was divided into two sections, front and rear, which were latched in the center. An elongated external hinge mechanism was necessary to support the folding roof, and since the pricey landau was designed as a luxury vehicle for the upper classes, designers added the elegant S-shaped scroll to the utilitarian hinges to make them more aesthetically appealing.
Early horse-drawn hearses were carriages that often featured fully functional landau bars. Before World War II, American automobile hearses borrowed the landau bar flourish as an homage and an attempt to add a touch of Old-World “class.” Over the years the landau bars became so ingrained in the public’s mind as a symbol of a funeral car that most hearse manufacturers still tack them onto their limousines as a matter of tradition.
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- WHY DO WE GIVE ALL OUR CONTENT AWAY FOR FREE? | DISRUPT60 007 - July 18, 2018
- ASD’s Spanish Translation Services and Web Form Watch Dog™ Features Selected As Finalists for 2018 NFDA Members’ Choice Award - July 18, 2018
- WISCONSON VERDICT HAS HHUUGGEE IMPLICATIONS ON THE FUNERAL PROFESSION | FUNERAL nation 117 - July 16, 2018
You may be interested
WHY DO WE GIVE ALL OUR CONTENT AWAY FOR FREE? | DISRUPT60 007CDFuneralNews - July 18, 2018
This question gets asked on the daily, "Why do you give so much away for free?". It's a pretty simple…
ASD’s Spanish Translation Services and Web Form Watch Dog™ Features Selected As Finalists for 2018 NFDA Members’ Choice AwardCDFuneralNews - July 18, 2018
Media, PA—ASD–Answering Service for Directors is pleased to announce two of the company’s features have been recognized as finalists for…
WISCONSON VERDICT HAS HHUUGGEE IMPLICATIONS ON THE FUNERAL PROFESSION | FUNERAL nation 117CDFuneralNews - July 16, 2018
The divide continues in the land of cheese. Wisconsin Supreme Court delivered the final verdict saying Funeral Homes and cemeteries…