1882 Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings Vo 1 020




Status: Needs Review




Recent Progress and improvements in

The following is a resume of the reports of
Mr. Wegmann-Ercolani and Prof. Heim to the
Zurich Cremation Society:

During the last years cremation has made
great progress and spread everywhere in Eu-
rope. Italy, where the first move was made
for its reproduction, stands at the head.
Cremation is not yet legal there, but simply
regulated by royal degree. Every cremation
requires, according to the sanitary law of
1879, a special permit from the prefect of the
province. Milan is an exception. The soci-
ety there is made legal by a royal decree. To
December, 1885, 606 bodies had been cre-
mated in Italy, of which 89 were at Rome.
The reports for 1886 are not yet published,
but the number is estimated at over 200.
The many Italian cremation societies
have formed a union, and often meet
in congresses. In Milan they have a museum
and a permanent offce. The technique of
cremation has also very much progressed.
After the methods of Brunetti and Polli
proved insufficient, three new ones, of equal
value, made their appearance. They are the
systems of Gorini, Venim and Spasciani-
Mesmer. All reach the same end, at the
same time and at the same expense. The
system of Venini is preferable to the two
others, because it considers more the aesthetic
effect, and it takes away the character of an
industrial establishment by omitting a chim-
ney.In Spain there are cremation societies
at Madrid and Barcelona. There is a large
society at Paris, France. A law for cremation
passed the French Chanber on March 10, 1886,
by a vote to 371 to 174. The city of Paris has
caused to be built at the cemetery of
Pere-la-Chaise, at its own expense, a fourfold
apparatus, in which the corpses (about 4000 a
year) which come from the anatomical rooms
are to be burned. The system used there is
the invention of a Suisse technique, Emil
Bourry, who, in a skilful manner, united the
superiorities of Slemen and Venin. The
same system is to be used at Zurich. There
is a large society at Brussels, Belgium. There
are societies in all the important cities of
Holland, which formed a union. There is a
Slemen's apparatus at the new cemetery of
Gotha, Germany, and 386 bodies had been
cremated there at the end of 1886, 96 of them
in that year. Cremation there is still an ex-
pensive affair. The taxes to be paid
to the city are from 70 to 80 marks
(over $18), and with ritual service
from 110 to 120 marks, beside the urn.
A crematorium is to be built at Hamburg.
There are a great many societies in the Ger-
man empire, of which the one of Berlin is
the most important, on account of its large
membership and perfect organization. The
society publishes a paer, the Flame, for the
advancement of cremation at home and
abroad. A petition was addressed to the
Reichstag, bound in three volumes, contain-
ing 30,000 signatures, among them those of
2183 physicians, asking for a law to make
cremation legal.

There is also a lively interest in cremation
in Denmark. Last year they erected a
Venini apparatus at Copenhagen. Sweden
has a union spread throughout the state.
They have offered a price for a crematorium,
and the plan of the architect, V. Carlson, was
accepted. The cost is about 50,000 crowns. A
lot has been bought at Stockholm, and the
building will be begun this year. Last year
they also began building a crematorium at
Gothenburg. The King is a warm friend of
cremation. Austria has also numerous
disciples of cremation. The have societies
at Vienna, Graz, Trieste, etc. Cremation is
not yet legal there. The opposition of the
Catholic chuch is too powerful, but the
municipality of Buda-Pesth has erected a

The society of London built a cremato-
rium some years ago at Woking, but
had not used it for some time, be-
cause it was said the law did not allow
it. But it happened that a physician, whose
wife died, had her body cremated on a pyre.
He was sued, but acquitted by the courts, be-
cause the law did not forbid cremation, nor
did the Bible command burying under
ground. Since then the society has cremated
any one who wised to be cremated after
death. The Emperor of Brazil ordered the
cremation of every one who died of yellow
fever. The society at Zurich, Switzerland, is
one of the best organized. The city govern-
ment and cemetery commission granted it a
place or a crematorium and a large piece of
ground at the cemetery for mounuments and
disposal of ashes. The society kept itself in-
formed of the technical part of crema-
tion, and has sent members to Italy to study
the different applications and improvements.
The result is that they decided in favor of the
Bourry system. It is a great improvement on
that of Siemen. Like Siemen, Mr. Bourry
allows only heated air to communicate with
the body. In both systems the corpse burns
directly; no flame is to be seen singing the
body, but it burns itself by the abundance of
hot oxygen which surrounds it. Bourry uses
carbonic acid gas, prepared in a coke regen-
erator, for heating the crematorium. During
the process of cremation he uses, mainly,
chimney gasses for heating the air before it
touches the corpse, which allows a more
economical use of the heat. It is of great
advantage that the chimney needs to be
only 10 meters high from the base of the
cellar, so that it is fully coverd up by

the building. The ashes fall, without being
touched, by an almost automatically-working
apparatus into the urn. The dissolution of
the body does not take place in the dark, un-
seen and uncontrolled, but the whole action
is clear and open. Bourry and Venini place
the crematorium, which has the shape of a
sarcophagus, and which can be approached
from all sides, in the midst of the hall in
which the service is to take place. There is
a little window on the back of the sarcopha-
gus, through which one can see the process of
cremation, which is completed within 1 to 1 1/2
hours, without smell or smoke. The
process is solemn and beautiful and avoids
every unaesthetic manipulation. The crem-
atorium is to be built in the central cemetery,
and will contain three rooms, the largest one,
13 meters long, 7 1/2 broad and 7 high, will con-
tain the real crematory apparatus, in the
shape of a sarcophagus; a smaller one is to
hold the gas generator, and the third one is
to serve as waiting room for those who wish
to see the process of dissolution to the end,
and also as a room for the officers and for
storing the records. Along the walls of the
crematorium are to be niches of marble and
slate, intended to place the ashes of the dead
in urns. A cover, with the necessary inscrip-
tion, is the external finish of the enclosure.
The expense of the building is about f.25,000
and the apparatus f.8000.

The expenses of a cremation are about f.50
($10), urn included. The officers of the so-
ciety are Prof. Heim, City Architect Geiser,
Wegmann-Ercolani, Prof. Goll. Col. Oberst
Bluntschll, Prof. Schur, advocate, Dr. E.
Curu, Prof. Lunge, Schweizer-Lobhard,
Muller-Scheer and Boutrey-Seguin, The
crematorium will be ready for operation this

Rights in a Burial Lot.
To the Editor of The Globe:

A widow, owning a choice burial lot at
Mt. Auburn cemtery, sold one individual
half of it to her brother-in-law, who sold
and deeded it to me, both deeds being prop-
erly recorded. Now the widow, with whom
my relations were very pleasant, has died,
and her heirs show a disposition to ignore
me and tell me they think I have not much
hold upon it, as the bylaws of the corpora-
tion state that lots are indivisible, and I
will not be recognized in giving orders at
the office, etc. Now, have I a legal title to
it, and anything the courts will sustain?
When about to buy I made inquiries at the
office of the cemetery and elsewhere, and
was told it was something very often done,
buying a burial lot with another in this
way, and probably all right and safe


The Public Statues and the bylaws of
the corporation provide that "burial lots
shall be held indivisible." I have some
question in my mind whether that means
that lots shall not be cut up smaller or
whether the ownership shall remain in the
same person who originally buys or his legal
heirs. I think "L. M. P." having paid a
valuable consideration for the property
would havethe right to what he had paid
for, and have no doubt but that the courts
would sustain him. It has been the prac-
tice of the corporation not to meddle with
quarrels between owners, and they have
recognized the first owner as the one to give
orders as to burials, etc.



If cremation becomes general the men who
are unable to earn their living may the find
it difficult to urn their dead.—[Chicago Post.


THE cremationists do not propose to sur-
render. It is a good idea that they propose
to educate public sentiment in this vicinity up
to their theory before spending any more
money on a crematory. Previous enterprises
of this kind have begun at the other end, and
have according failed.


To the Editor of the Post:

Sir—Those who are interested in this matter
will remember that a few years ago an un-
successful attempt was made to form a crema-
tion society in this city. Since my return
from Europe many friends have been urging
me to try again, and after looking carefully
over the field I am of opinion that the time is
ripe for a revival of the endeavor. Before
taking any definite steps, however, I should
like to hear from the members of the late
New England Cremation Society, and there-
fore ask the courtesy of your columns to con-
vey to them, and to others interested in the
question, the request that they will commu-
nicate with me at their early convenience. If
from the letters received I find that, of those
in favor of substituting incineration for inhu-
mation, a sufficient number is ready for fresh
action, I will call a meeting for the formation
of a new society.

President N. E. C. S.

Boston, Oct. 4, 1890, 77 Boylston street.


[image:heraldry seal of the state of Massachusetts]



AN ACT authorizing the formation of corpora-
tions for the purpese of cremating the bodies
of the dead.

Be it enacted by the senate and house of repre-
sentatives in General Court assembled, and by
the authority of the same, as follows:—

SECTION 1. Any five or more persons may as-
sociate themselves together in the manner pre-
scribed by chapter one hundred and six of the
Public Statutes, with a capital of not less than
six thousand, nor more than fifty thousand dol-
lars, for the purpose of providing the necessary
appliances and facilities for the proper disposal
by incineration of the bodies of the dead; and
corporations so established shall have the same
powers and privileges and be subject to the same
duties, liabilities and restrictions as other corpo-
rations established under said chapter, except as
hereinafter provided. The par value of shares
in the capital stock of corporations organized
under the provisions of this act shall be either
ten or fifty dollars.

SECT. 2. Every such corporation may acquire
by gift, devise or purchase, and hold in fee sim-
ple so much real estate not exceeding in value
fifty thousand dollars, as may be necessary for
carrying out the objects connected with and ap-
propriate to the purposes of said corporation, and
situated in such place as the state board of
health, lunacy and charity may determine to be
suitable for said objects and purposes. No buil-
ing shall be erected, occupied or used by such
corporation until the location and plans thereof,
with all details of construction, have been sub-
mitted to and approved by said board or some
person designated by it to examine them.

SECT. 3. Every such corporation may make
bylaws and regulations consistent with law and
subject to the approval of said state board, for
the reception and cremation of bodies of deceased
persons, and for the disposition of the ashes re-
maining therefrom, and shall carry on all its
business in accordance with such regulations as
said board shall from time to time establish and
furnish in writing to the clerk of the corpora-
tion, and for each violation of said regulations
it shall forfeit not less than twenty nor more
than five hundred dollars.

SECT. 4. No body of a deceased person shall be
cremated within forty-eight hours after decease,
unless death was occasioned by contagious or in-
fectious disease; and no body shall be received
or cremated by said corporation until its officers
have received the certificate or burial permit re-
quired by law before burial, together with a cer-
tificate from the medical examiner of the district
within which the death occurred, that he has
viewed the body and made personal inquiry into
the cause and manner of death, and is of opinion
that no further exmination nor judicial inquiry
concerning the same is necessary. For such
view, inquiry and cetificate he shall receive the
fees prescribed by section nine pf chapter twenty-
six of the Public Statutes for a view without an
autopsy by examiners in counties other than
Suffolk County. Medical examiners within their
respective districts shall make such view and in-
quiry upon application therefor and payment or
tender of said fees.

SECT. 5. This act shall take effect upon its pas-

Approved May 26, 1885



John Storer Cobb Hopes to Revive
Interest in Incineration.

There is a likelihood that the subject of
incinerating human remains will again come
up for general discussion this winter. John
Storer Cobb, editor of the Nationalist, has
taken the preliminary steps with this end in
view by inviting all who are interested in the
subject of cremation to communicate with

Mr. Cobb has given the matter of reducing
bodies to their lowest terms by heat a great
deal of attention. He was instrumental in
organizing the New York company which
built the crematory on Long Island, and in
1883 had a company well started in Boston,
when he was called to Europe, and interest
in the affair lagged.

Since his return to this city he has been led
to believe that another company could be
organized without much exertion, and he
now seeks to get a concensus of opinion on
the question.

His idea is to form, first, an educational
association with a view to establishing a sen-
timent in favor of cremation, and then to
organize a stock company with a capital of
about $25,000 and erect a crematory on the
city or vicinity.



An Item of Expense at the Mt.
Hope Cemetery.


Why Was the City Made to Pay
$76.50 for Sleigh Bells?


Among the reports submitted to the board of
aldermenn last Monday was that of the trustees
of the Mt. Hope Cemetery. The report, like all
department reports, was received and placed on
file and it is doubtful if two members of the coty
council have critically examined it.

One portion of the report referring to the in-
vestigation of the department last year, con-
tains a defence of the trustees. It denies that
the trustees were derelict in the performance of
their duties or that they were deserving of cen-
sure. The affairs of the cemetery they claim
were honestly and judiciously administered.

This is an interesting statement, and doubt-
less all good citizens would feel please to know

[Image: Large sleigh bell, engraved with "$25", attached to a crooked tombstone.]
that matters were really so. Before accepting
this statement as correct, it would be well to in-
quire what means the item in the detailed ac-
count of expenditures:--
Sleigh bells - $76.50

This item has attracted considerable attention.
What connection has the affairs of a grave yard
with sleigh-bells? Is there a livery stable connected
with the cemetery, or are all the employees of
the cemetery permitted to keep horses and
sleigh-bells at the city's expense?

Seventy-six dollars would purchase a large
number of sleigh-bells -- a great deal more than
would appear to be necessary in connection
with a cemetery.

It has been suggested that the cemetery is
filled with spooks, and that they are kept in
subjugation by the merry jingle of the bells.
No complaint has ever been heard from res-
idents in the vicinity of the Mt. Hope Ceme-
tery as to the place being disturbed by spooks,
and when this fact is considered the mystery of
the sleigh-bells is greater than ever.

Until this item is explained there will be
doubts in the minds of the public that the affairs
of the cemetery have been "judiciously" admin-
istered. If the money was used to get bells to
ornament or to charm the spooks, the public
will doubtless admit the extenuating circum-
stances and forgive the expense.

In the meantime, Messrs. Trustees, speak up;
tell just what the bells were for.

What Did They With 1000 Bells?

Mr. Monroe, of Burditt & Williams, 20 Dock
sq., who make a specialty of sleigh bells, say
that the best kind of bells sell at 67
cents a set, 45 cents to the trade
when taken in quantities. This means 113 sets
or 678 bells at retail, or 170 sets and 1020 bells,
at wholesale. This is for the very best class of

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page