Web site visitor Patty Jackson writes:
I live in Galveston, Texas. I was walking out on one of the jetties and came across a tag. It is stamped: Funeral Directors Vaults LTD with a number 4109. I traced down the crematory which is in Louisville, KY. But, was wondering if maybe you knew any more info on it.
Heather Schena's earlier article (which first appeared in the TAMS Journal) was the only write-up I've ever seen on crematorium identification tags. This one does not appear to have been burned, and it's a mystery to me. Had it been used it would make sense that someone may have scattered ashes near the jetty and this piece came with them.
So I asked Heather, who writes:
The tag probably was used; not all of them go into the retort at the time of cremation. I learned recently that some are hung on the outside of the cremation oven and attached to the bag of cremains or dropped into the accompanying box when the ashes are ready. It's part of the process the crematory uses to ensure that the right ashes are returned to the right family. The theory that the tag was discarded when the ashes were scattered is probably exactly what happened.
A Google search for the phrase "found crematory tag" brings up a couple of metal detectorist forums where these finds are discussed. Those using a metal detector on beaches apparently discover these on a regular basis, much to their dismay. Contrary to what you might read there, these tags are not bad luck, they are just a normal part of modern American funeral customs and many were understanding of how these items got on their particular local beach. According to what I read on the forums, it seems most people throw them back in the water or sadly throw them in the trash.
I also found a short article about the company on the tag:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
CREMATORIUM IDENTIFICATION TAGS
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster