Drive-Thru Funeral Home

In 1968, Herschel Thornton of Atlanta, Georgia opened the world's first drive-thru funeral home. He called it a "mortatorium." The press dubbed it the "remains to be seen" funeral home.

It featured five windows in which bodies could be viewed from the comfort of one's car. Thornton noted, "Folks will be able just to drive by and view the last remains of their loved ones, and then keep going."

The Thornton Mortuary is still around. Herschel died in 1995, so the mortuary is now run by his son and grandchildren. Their website has a page about the "historic drive-thru viewing window." But based on the Google street view image of the mortuary, it looks like the drive-thru option is no longer available.

Jet - Mar 28, 1968

image source:

image source: Thornton mortuary

The Greenville News - Mar 14, 1968

However, other funeral homes eventually followed in the path blazed by Thornton. Quartz magazine reports that Japan debuted its first drive-thru funeral home in 2017. And below is an AP news report about a drive-thru mortuary that opened in Michigan in 2014.

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 11, 2018
     Category: Death | 1960s | Cars

Technology has expanded this. Type "funeral home webcam" into google.
Posted by crc in idaho on 01/11/18 at 09:30 AM
I'm reminded of the "drive-through" liquor stores I came across in Pittsburgh when I worked there some twenty years ago. One would pull up to an outside window and make a purchase, just like a fast food joint. Man, I couldn't believe that such a thing was even legal.
Posted by KDP in Madill, OK on 01/11/18 at 09:36 AM

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