Skazka (supercrook) wrote in little_details,

Louisiana funeral homes, 19th/early 20th century

I've got a character of mine (female, 33, living in a nondescript American town in 1924) who may or may not come from a family of funeral home directors. She's a Louisiana native, from a medium-sized town (not a city like New Orleans) and if her race has any bearing on the question, is white. My question has a couple parts to it-- I feel like I'm missing something glaringly obvious.

Firstly, what kind of social class would a funeral home director fall into? It's her father's family business, not something that he went into after a previous career fell through, if that changes anything.
Secondly, what would be the preferred way to describe that profession? "Funeral director" seems to have been the official preference around that time, but I'm sure some people would still be calling men like her father "undertakers", right?
Thirdly, how much would she know about the family trade? From what I've been reading, it seems like modern funeral homes have fairly equal footing in terms of the gender of the people who work there, and that the children of those who own funeral homes are pretty closely acquainted with their parents' line of work regardless of gender. But since most of her childhood would still be firmly Victorian or Edwardian, and her parents seem to be pretty traditional, I'm not sure if she'd have been somehow "spared" the grisly details or whether that assumption is entirely incorrect.

Terms googled: "funeral home 19th/20th century", "embalming 19th/20th century", "19th/20th century funeral", "19th century funeral home", "19th century funeral director", "Louisiana mortician"/"Louisiana mortician 19th century", "Louisiana undertaker"/"Louisiana undertaker 19th century". As you can see from the search terms, I'm not entirely sure of what to search for, and I'm mostly interested in what her life would be like up until her teens. I've been doing a bit of research lately as to what funeral directors now are called on to actually do, and the methods aren't so much the problem as the terminology and social attachments involved.
Tags: 1890-1899, 1900-1909, 1910-1919, usa: louisiana, ~funerals

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