Former CFSA Board member Mike Beardsley (Thacker Caskets), and chair of our 100th Anniversary committee in 2013, has recently been in contact with various leaders of The Professional Car Society, a nonprofit association dedicated to the maintenance, restoration, preservation, and display of one of the finest examples of automotive craftsmanship — the professional car. The Society’s members became aware of CFSA after Mike began promoting on eBay sales of our 2013 Centennial book, “100 Years of Service.”
After we sent a complimentary copy of the “100 Years” book to an editor of the Society’s magazine, The Professional Car, the editor was so impressed that he wrote a book review that will appear in the March/April 2015 issue of their magazine. Word of mouth soon spread among the Society’s volunteer leaders, and this led to several more book sales. (CFSA printed an extra 400 copies of the commemorative “100 Years of Service” book back in 2013, and copies are available for purchase on our CFSAA.org website or by using the order form on the next page.)
Here is a brief excerpt of the book review, written by Contributing Editor Thomas A. McPherson, that will soon be published and distributed to more than 1,000 of the magazine’s subscribers:
“Let’s face it, aside from the volumes produced that document the history of the professional car and its various manufacturers, there are a limited number of books that examine other evolutionary aspects of the American funeral business – and the majority of these are long out of print.. So it was a real pleasure to discover just such a book had been published by the Casket & Funeral Supply Association of America. Compiled and printed in 2013, this 195-page hardbound book was originally envisioned by the Association as a limited press run souvenir publication celebrating the organization’s centennial and to be distributed among the its member firms and their employees…
With historical overviews of various aspects of the funeral supply industry and its products penned by Michael Beardsley (Vice President emeritus of Thacker Caskets, Inc; former CFSA Board Member, and a 30+ year veteran of the Marsellus Casket Company), this intriguing publication includes over 160 absorbing photographs depicting all types of funeral supplies including caskets, burial vaults, embalming fluids and, yes, even some funeral cars… The special 89 page section of the book…is full of interesting stories, incredible pictures, and seldom seen advertisements… Considering its original purpose and audience, this is an exceptionally fine piece of work relating funeral service history served the way one likes it…with scholarly authority and literary grace.”
The Professional Car Society’s website (www.professionalcarsociety.org) includes this description of the association’s purpose: “A professional car is loosely defined as a custom-bodied vehicle based on passenger car styling and used in the funeral, rescue, or livery services. Such vehicles may be hearses, flower cars, service cars, ambulances, limousines, or cars which are specially built to combine two or more of these functions, such as combination hearse-ambulances, sedan ambulances, or invalid coaches. The Society was founded in 1976 to encourage the preservation of such vehicles, many of which had no established classes in multi-marque antique car organizations at that time. The Society’s growth since then has helped to establish the position of the professional car in more and more clubs and shows and has helped to preserve many vehicles for future collectors to enjoy and restore. The Society publishes a magazine, The Professional Car, which contains industry news, historical articles, club news, advertisements of interest to the collector, miscellaneous features, and lots of photographs.”
CFSA would like to thank Mike Beardsley not only for his exceptional work on the “100 Years” book back in 2013, but for his continuing efforts to promote new book sales!