Headstones have changed drastically over time, but old-world fabrication techniques continue to be used to this day. Legacy Headstones has specialized in handcrafting high-quality headstones for almost a century, and we take great pleasure in educating our customers about the heritage and history of headstone construction. These structures have been devices of human culture since the beginning of time. Even primitive people used grave markers at burial sites to keep track of kin and familial bloodlines. As to be expected, many grave markers have been erased by time due to weathering, urban planning, and other factors. Join us as we take a look back at the evolution of headstones.

Headstone Construction Throughout History

Since prehistoric times, humans have used grave markers and memorials to honor the dead. The earliest kinds of headstones were usually made of wood. It wasn’t until the Medieval period that stonemasons and carpenters began using soft rocks, small enough to be carried to any gravesite by animals and men. These Medieval gravestones did not last long, because limestone and Yorkstone are soft and prone to erosion.

By the Victorian era and Civil War, grave markers began to take thin, rectangular shapes for lack of cemetery space. Civil War soldiers were often memorialized in stone tombs made of granite, because it was readily available through most of New England and other parts of America. After the Industrial Revolution, we began bridging the gap between fabrication methods of the past and fabrication methods of the future. Headstones were primarily cut and polished by hand until the rapid codification of fabrication techniques. Gravestone specialists began using machines to cut and finish stone with perfect regularity. As a result, consumers gained a variety of shapes and customization choices.

Modern Methods for Headstone Construction

Today, headstones are most often designed by computers and cut by machine-assisted technology. Advancements in fabrication provide nearly unlimited versatility in shape, features, or materials. Today’s headstones are primarily made from bronze or granite, and these materials are protected against weathering for centuries. These modern headstones are superior to headstones of the past in almost every way. Laser engravings are made possible by computer numerical control (CNC) machines that arc or scratch the stone in a precise manner. Laser etchings will last as long as the headstone lasts. Our exacting customization process ensures that your loving anecdotes are transcribed and will remain visible for a lifetime.

Our staff will be happy to guide you through choosing the design of your loved one’s memorial, as well as the shape, color, typeface, artwork, inscription, and any additional details you desire. Please contact us to learn more about our customization options and the headstone materials we offer. If you have any questions about this article, we would love to hear from you. Call us toll-free at 800-611-1340 today for more information.