Throwback Thursday Cremation Edition: The Lowering Device
The early crematories in the country generally had a catafalque or bier upon which the casket was placed when it arrived at the crematory. Because committal services usually were held in the chapel, there was some sort of closure that was necessary – such as the lowering of the casket in the grave in a casket burial. So cremationists mimicked this idea when they placed the cremation chambers in early crematories in the basement of the building and the casket could be lowered to the crematory below.
Above is an example of this which was at the New York & New Jersey Crematory in North Bergen, New Jersey, which went so far as to put a cover over the lift that actually looked like a grave, shown lowered below.