Friday, July 24, 2015

The Start of the Pet Coffin Business, 1959


Today you can order pet caskets from Amazon. But back in the day, there was nothing. Thank goodness American ingenuity came along to fill the void!

From Mechanix Illustrated, January, 1959:

DID any birds kick the bucket in your house lately? If they did, you can bury them in a miniature bird coffin designed and built by Bob Carpenter of Buffalo, N. Y., founder of The American Pet Casket Co.

Bob’s tiny coffins-for-the-birds idea was hatched one day when he heard a woman complain about the scarcity of suitable caskets for dear departed songsters. He checked the local pet shops and found only a crude wooden box used for the purpose.

Bob decided to design his own bird coffin. His sister’s mother-in-law, who was a worker in ceramics, agreed to help him. They came up with a 3×7-in. casket with looks and durability.

The little caskets are white with painted linings in bird colors of green, yellow and blue. The lids are painted with flowers and each one is decorated with a tiny molded bird. Inside is a wee plastic foam mattress and pillow to make it look authentic.

The ceramic models cost up to $6.50. If you want to give your deceased bird a ball of a burial you can also purchase a miniature floral wreath. This is a 4×6-in. job composed of artificial flowers, ribbons and lace with a Styrofoam back. Three sticks are furnished to keep the wreath erect on the grave. “People don’t put a price on sentiment when it comes to their pets,” says Bob. “Why some folks even bury their canaries in the family plot!”

1 comment:

jeff hays said...

My last two little rescue dogs that kicked the bucket got a pricey casket,an all aluminum Zero Halliburton briefcase! Great coffin for a 12 pound dog.
Being an antique seller I run into a few a year,and can be bought for a few bucks, Retail on these is over a hundred bucks!
My latest rescue is 1.5 years old so hope we have a while to go, but if a Zero briefcase comes dirt cheap I shall put it in the rafters of the barn for the sad time ahead, years from now we hope.
Another positive with these is if your buddy expires in the winter these are sealed with a O ring so you can keep it till the spring with no stinky issues, OR if you move you can move your pet cemetary easy.