After centuries of having been considered a taboo practice by many countries and cultures, cremation continues to rise steadily in popularity throughout North America, according to a number of studies. As those born during the Baby Boomer era continue to age and reach what they consider their twilight years, cremation is being seen as more of a convenient practice, especially in regards to the financial aspect.
While interesting stories about burial over the years have spawned popular expressions such as “saved by the bell” and “dead ringer,” many don’t know that cremation is just as fascinating and also associated with interesting facts.
Here is a list of interesting facts about the cremation process.
- The first crematory in North America was built in the town of Washington, Pennsylvania in the year 1876.
- In the year 1920, the United States only had 20 working crematories. By the year 2003, the United States was home to more than 1,890 crematories, and that number is continuing to grow.
- The cost of a traditional funeral in 1960 was $708, and the cost of a traditional funeral today is $6,500. The average cost of a direct cremation, on the other hand, is only $1,100, according to the Cremation Research Council.
- The top 10 states with the highest cremation rates, in order, are: Nevada (69 percent), Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Montana, Maine, Colorado, Vermont, New Hampshire (58 percent).
- Cremation dates back to 3000 BC, according to data presented by the Cremation Society of North America.
- Silicone breast implants are often removed prior to the cremation process, since cremains have been found to adhere to the implants.
- Pacemakers that contain lithium batteries are removed prior to cremation, since lithium batteries have been found to explode in high temperatures and cause major damage to the cremation chamber.
- Modern cremation does not involve the use of flames; instead, a body is reduced to ashes, or cremains, as the result of being exposed to intense heat.
- In addition to the ashes that are placed into a cremation urn, cremains include bone fragments that have been processed into a fine powder using a tool known as a “cremator.”
- Metal objects such as dental gold, screws, hinges, and prostheses are often broken down into smaller pieces during the cremation process and retrieved from the cremation chamber using an electromagnet. Then, these metal pieces are disposed of according to local and state laws. In some cases, cremation providers have found surgical devices in cremation chambers, such as scissors and forceps.
Heartland Cremation can help provide you with the guidance and planning you need for arranging the cremation of your loved one. Family-owned and operated, Heartland Cremation serves the Kansas City area, including the communities of Overland Park, Leawood, Prairie Village, Lenexa, and Olathe. Please contact us to discuss your cremation needs today.