Torch lanterns on a horse drawn hearse

I talked about side lanterns on older hearses before, but this beautiful example is a torch lantern on an undertaker's carriage. Back before hearses and other cars, a walking procession would leave the home of the deceased, and they'd be led to a church. People bearing the coffin would be followed by mourners holding lit candles or lanterns to light the path. The burial was then performed in the church graveyard, usually around nightfall. With the transition of burials taking place in cemeteries situated away from towns, better transportation became a necessity. As such, horse-drawn carriages, trains, and eventually motor cars have been used as means to get to burial sites. Additionally, these vehicles were equipped with lanterns to light up the way during darker hours. The funeral procession usually involves the hearse leading the way, followed by family members, and then other attendees. To help make the procession recognizable, magnetic funeral flags are placed on the hoods of each car while headlights are kept turned on, continuing the tradition of using lanterns to signify that this is a funeral procession.