? for the history guys

I know, I ask a lot of questions.

One of my fields of research has me combing thru a number of Depression era and into the 40s small papers.

It caught my attention one of the local FDs began advertising around 35 "Lady on the premises at all times".
Not entirely sure what this was about since well into the 50s here best I recall every funeral home was also the residence of the FD and his family, usually on the second floor.

The campaign stayed single FD for a couple years and then appears to have grown to other FDs offering "Lady on premises during funerals" or similar wording. Sort of a curious evolution that appears to have rapidly fallen into disuse as the World War unfolded.

Anybody has any information on this trend for want of a better descriptor, kindly let me know. Thanks

Steve Loftin

PCS Member - Elected Director 2020-2023
Site Supporter
Short version...

This was done to offer an extra level of comfort for the family when a deceased female or even a child was in the funeral home's care.

Abe Bush

Awhile back a member recalled that growing up in the South, a funeral home had what he called “Crying Nurses”; women in starched white nurse’s uniforms who would hand out tissues to those who became overcome with grief and had to be soothed and/or comforted.

Kurt Arends

PCS Elected Director 2021-2024
Super Site Supporter
Commonly noted on F.H. advertising, back in the day.


  • Lady.jpg
    114.8 KB · Views: 151
Little remembered realities often make history far more interesting.
It had slipped my mind women were not welcomed in Professions in the Depression era and Professional education was fairly unavailable beyond Nursing and teachers who trained in Normal Schools.
It didn't change much in the War years, and admission to Professional Schools took a hit with the GI Bill.

U of R built Anderson Hall women's dorm in the 20s, and I'm fairly sure it was designed by a man accomplished in constructing prisons.
In the 50s Carolin Branch was 1 of 5 Woman Lawyers in Rochester, and a frequent flyer ad a Diabetic who forgot to eat lunch.
Rochester had a club for Female Executives that met once a month for a formal luncheon mostly to show off their latest pink hats and share gossip. The Zonta Club still exists but the pink hats are long gone as is Sibley's Department Store Tea Room. I had the honor of knowing several of the ladies of Zonta.

Peter Grave

Super Site Supporter
Super Site Supporter
My Grandmother was one of those early women who did not sit still and bake cookies. She was the first woman to graduate from The University Of Pennsylvania with a PHD in Chemical Engineering no less. Went on to work for Du Pont Chemical in Delaware. Then when women went to get the vote she was right up front leading the charge and they got it. She was 5 foot 1 and a devout Quaker. I didn't even call her Grandmaw it was Grandmier and don't you forget it!
Didn't have the pleasure of meeting Das Granny, but I am absolutely sure I was married to one of her great Grandotters for a while.
The MIL was addressed only as MOTHER with proper facial expression or hell broke loose.

She and I did NOT interface to her desire. She lived past 100 making the world bend to her will. I got pulled over headed to her funeral, when the Deputy stopped laughing he gave me the location of every speed trap to the State line.

YES, I did hold a mirror under her nose to be absolutely sure.