Clothing, if not called for within 30 days will be disposed of: The Material Culture of Death Forgotten at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery

Summary

Historical Archaeology has recognized the impact the advent of mass production and distribution of goods had on the material culture of the 19th and early 20th century.  This is true of the category of burial garments. The burial shroud is thought to have given way to grave clothes made by individuals and then replaced by a burial garment industry characterized by the patent of a burial garment in 1912 by G.C. Holcomb "to resemble tailor-made garments." A remarkable variety of clothing and textiles including burial shrouds, shirts, suits, and jackets were recovered as a result of excavations at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery (MCPFC). This paper examines these items buried with individuals at the cemetery as well as the biological profiles and spatial distribution of such burials in order to question our assumptions regarding the way in which death was mediated through the material culture world at the MCPFC.

Cite this Record

Clothing, if not called for within 30 days will be disposed of: The Material Culture of Death Forgotten at the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery. Patricia B. Richards, Catherine Jones, Eric Burant, Richard H. Kubicek. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441938)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 544