Funerals in the 1900's
By the 1890s, John Allison/Monkhouse was offering embalming as a service to the public. Embalming preserved the body, of particular importance during the hot summer months as houses did not have air-conditioning and the odour from the body could become offensive.
It was usually performed in the funeral parlour and the deceased was then returned home until the time of the funeral.
In 1927, John Allison/Monkhouse opened the first state-of-the-art mortuary facility in Victoria. Thus, embalming was able to be performed in a hygienic environment. At this time there were few funeral chapels. Most funeral premises had a large room, known as the "parlour", where people could gather for the viewing.
It was not until after the Second World War and the increase in secular influence that funeral directors built chapels where funeral ceremonies could be held.