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Most funeral homes pride themselves on being respectful, tasteful and adhering to the highest industry standards. However, there was one man, William Wilkerson Chambers, who shocked the funeral industry with his brazen advertising and off-the-cuff remarks. Chambers was an undertaker in Washington D.C. from the 1910s until his death in 1954. He was the founder of the Advertising Funeral Directors of America, an organization the first of its kind created to create less conventional marketing techniques and management in the funeral industry.
In 1947 he created quite the controversy when he released a calendar featuring a nude woman and the quote, "Beautiful Bodies by Chambers." He defended his actions remarking, "No one wants to read an undertaker's ad, when I advertised caskets they called me casket-crazy and when I featured the religious theme they called me a glumbunny." 10 years earlier The Federal Trade Commission received complaints about his claim that he was "the largest undertaker in the world" to which he changed his statement to "ONE of the largest undertakers in the world." Chambers also had strong opinions about funeral taxation and raising employee wages remarking that "women don't do anything but watch bodies," "one has read 500 books since she's been working for me."
Not only will this funeral fan make a great additional to your curio cabinet but the history of the man, Chambers himself, will make an excellent conversation piece.
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