Winnipeg Cab History / 20: The Horse Cab (3)
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The Coutu company is still in the funeral business in 2012.


Coutu Funeral Home hearse and cabs about 1915. Archives Manitoba, Foote 187 (Negative N1787).

Winnipeg Cab History / 20

The Horse Cab (3)

This photo shows the horse-drawn vehicles typically used in a funeral procession. The buggy in the lead position was for the clergyman who presided at the graveside. The cabs were for the family or other mourners, while the hearse carried the coffin. The first two cabs following the hearse are landaus, with retractable hoods over both the rear and forward seats.

In both Europe and North America it became common for people who could not attend a funeral in person to send an empty cab to join the funeral procession as a token of respect. This practice was subject to abuse, as when families stretched out a funeral procession with their own hired carriages in order to make the deceased seem more important than he or she actually was.

An empty cab could also amount to a calculated slight. In Honoré de Balzac's novel Père Goriot, Goriot's ungrateful daughters send their empty carriages to his funeral.


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