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Victorian Era Child’s Cooling & Embalming Table

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Victorian Era Child’s Cooling & Embalming Table,

Rare piece of American history! Beautifully cryptic

portable child’s cooling & embalming table, circa 1840’s.

All wood construction, that folds into a portable case.


During the Victorian era, funerals would have been held within

the home of the deceased individual. (On an interesting side note,

the word ‘parlor’ was abandoned after funerals stopped being

held within the home, and changed to ‘living room’ as a means

of disassociating the family-oriented space with its former

morbid function. If the person died before funeral arrangements

could be made, it was necessary for their body to be preserved

long enough for the funeral. “The sick were more likely to die

at home than in hospital and their corpse would remain there

until interment.” These sorts of cooling tables would have been

situated over several large blocks of ice. The cool air from the

ice would permeate through the holes in the table, and would

preserve the body (actually, quite well). These tables were

also used for the embalming procedure, as the holes acted

as drainage during the preservation and removal of liquids. 

Measures: Open; 4′ L, 18″ W, 19″ Ht


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