Zinc Gravemarkers and Melting Snow

snow and grave markers
Grave markers in the snow.

Snowfall helps cemetery explorers discover zinc grave markers.

Do you enjoy searching for your favorite types of tombstones when exploring cemeteries?

Whether you like searching for wood, granite, slate, marble, or sandstone grave markers, spotting your favorite stele from a distance is always fun. Personally, I enjoy seeking zinc grave markers, among others.

Zinc grave markers are easily identified by the trained eye. In fact, with a quick scan across a large monument laden cemetery, even hobbyists can quickly find zinc markers. They just look different. There is something about their muted grey color that catches your eye and makes you linger a ½ second longer trying to figure out why that particular “tombstone” looks slightly different from the others.

I explored a new cemetery with a friend last summer. Her interest in cemeteries is new and budding. “See that marker over there? It’s metal.” I told her. “How do you know it is metal?” She asked. I told her to tap on it with her knuckles. She was amazed at the hollow “DING” that rang out but more than that she was amazed that I had used some “trick” to spot it more than 100 feet away amongst a sea of other markers.

Zinc grave markers have an interesting history. They were produced by the Monumental Bronze Company toward the last decade of the 1800’s and the first decade of the 1900’s. At first, the markers were not popular with families of the newly deceased. However, clever marketing by Monumental Bronze let families know of zinc’s affordability, long life, and easy maintenance. One other strategy used by Monumental Bronze was a change in name from “Zinc” to “White Bronze.” White Bronze markers became thought of as progressive for the new century and thousands were sold and installed in cemeteries all across the United States.

So, what is it about zinc markers that makes them readily identifiable from afar? Is it their subdued reflection of sunlight? Is it their distinguished removable panels? Is it their powdery appearance? I don’t know what it is but I do know that I recently discovered yet another method of finding zinc grave markers.

You probably saw on the news that we received quite a bit of snowfall at the end of January. Once the roads cleared, I trekked to a few cemeteries to check on grave sites. A zinc marker was along my path and I noticed snow appeared to be melting at a greater rate on the zinc marker than on nearby granite markers. My initial hypothesis was that the zinc marker absorbed sunlight a greater rate than the granite markers. With a quick check of my temperature gun, my hypothesis proved inconclusive since the zinc grave marker and two adjacent granite grave markers were of very similar temperatures.

What other factors could be at play? Since the heat capacity of a granite marker is much greater than a similarly sized zinc marker is it possible that granite takes longer to heat up and allows the snow to hang around longer? Did crinkled surface with lots of bends and different angles on the zinc marker better absorb sunlight? Or, was it a simple case of the snow melting equally on each marker but the wetness of melted snow dripping made a more dramatic color differential on zinc than it did on the granite markers?

Zinc Grave Marker Snow
Zinc Grave Marker Under Snow

Well, I am not sure of the answer but I do know that I now I have another “trick” to amaze friends when exploring cemeteries and looking for zinc markers.

What are your “tricks” when determining composition of grave markers? Feel free to leave a response below to let me know your favorite type and style of tombstone. What “tricks” or cool info do you know about them?

If you love tombstones and cemeteries, you might really enjoy starting your own Grave Care Business. I love cemeteries and I love being able to work in and explore new cemeteries all the time. If you are thinking about starting a Grave Care Business, my company has developed a Grave Care Business Course that will help you start and grow a successful Grave Care Business. The course includes a huge grouping of manuals, guidebooks, tutorials, video training, business tools, and estimating software.

For more information on the Grave Care Business Course, please visit our website: www.GraveCareBusiness.com


Tombstone Damage

Avoid damage to tombstones when operating your Grave Care Business.

I was in a cemetery recently doing some photography when I noticed many of the tombstones had familiar chips knocked off from their edges.

Tombstone Damage Caused By Lawn Equipment
Tombstone Damage Caused By Lawn Equipment

These chips are most likely caused by negligent lawn care equipment operators running their mowers too close to tombstones.

Lawn Mowers in Cemeteries

Damage occurs as lawn mowers are navigated too close to the tomb stone and a metal part of the lawn mower engages the tombstone. Chips can be knocked out rather easily by heavy equipment.  There is also a possibility that a rock was kicked up by the lawn mower and if the grass shoot guard wasn’t in place the rock could have contacted the tomb stone knocking a chip out.

Weedeaters are also damaging to tombstones.  Weedeater heads spin at upwards of 8,000 RPM and the cutting line can make marks and wear away the stone.  Although weedeaters normally do not make chip marks, wear and tear happens on a smaller scale over time.  Instead they make scuff marks and gradually wear away the stone with repeated contact over time.

If you are running a grave care business and if you are doing plot maintenance or grounds maintenance, pay attention and do not allow your lawn equipment to contact tombstones.

Have you ever thought about starting your own Grave Care Business?
There’s a lot of money to be made mowing individual plots in
unmanaged cemeteries.  There’s also ALOT of money bidding contracts for whole cemetery grounds maintenance.

Don’t know where to start?  We’ll show you how.
Check out our home page to learn about our Grave Care Business Course.


Maintaining a neglected cemetery.

you are interested in maintaining the historic value of cemeteries you should think about starting a Grave Care Maintenance Business.

A recent news article caught out attention over the Memorial Day weekend. The news article concerns a cemetery in West Virginia that is not being taken care of properly.

Most notable is the claim that the cemetery’s grounds maintenance crew is improperly handling their lawn care equipment and causing damage to tombstones.

If you have read our Grave Care Business program you know the importance of proper lawn equipment handling to eliminate damage done to grave markers by lawn mowers and weedeaters. Grave stone are easily damaged by lawn equipment and the grounds crew at this cemetery should be trained in proper procedure.

The news article also highlights, at least in our minds, the need for a Grave Care Company in this West Virginia town. Look at the heartache of the families that have loved-ones buried at this cemetery. They shouldn’t have to face damaged tomb stones and poorly maintained grave sites. Families hurt by improper grave care from a cemetery company are willing to pay good money to an outside company to properly care for these grave sites.

If you are thinking about starting a small business in your community and if you are interested in maintaining the historic value of cemeteries you should think about starting a Grave Care Maintenance Business.  You may never have thought about a Grave Care Business.  There is much more to this business than grounds maintenance and you can build a lucrative business offering many Grave Site related services.  Visit our home page to learn how you can get started with your own Grave Care Business. Our program is on sale right now through this website. www.GraveCareBusiness.com

Magic Happens in the Morning

pictures of gravesites for a cemetery photography / GPS project.

Magic Happens in the Morning.

Last week I was taking pictures of gravesites for a cemetery photography / GPS project.

Though I would have rather slept in a couple hours that day, I had a busy schedule ahead of me and decided to stumble out of bed early to get a jump on my workload.  In all honesty I can’t call it a workload since playing all day in old cemeteries with cameras and GPS units rarely seems like work.  Besides, photography and tombstones always mix better with light from morning’s sun as it crests over the horizon.  There is something about golden sun rays on old marble tombstones that produces photographs to stir the imagination and explore the true nature of reverence in an old, forgotten cemetery.

Morning’s Light in a Cemetery

As morning broke and I readied my camera equipment, I looked me to survey the entire cemetery.  Since the night before’s weather was drizzly, a heavy mist of fog hung low over the cemetery landscape filling low spots and smoothing the undulating ground work.  Taller tombstones spired mightily through the fog as lower tombstones barely peeked over the fog’s top layer to get their first glimpses and their new day.

Best Business Ever

The beauty of this serene scene was almost overwhelming and I nearly choked up with amazement that I am able to be self-employed in such an amazing business.
If you are interested in learning how to operate your own successful Grave Care Business, visit our home page (Click “Home” at the top of this page).

Grave Care Business Program

The grave care business program is on sale right now and teaches you practically everything you need to know to operate your own Grave Care Business.  (Click “Home” at the top of this page)