Two “white bronze” monuments, popularly known today as zinkies, grace the grounds of Cedar Hill Cemetery. They mark the Coit Lot in Section 3 and the Parry Lot in Section 5.
The Monumental Bronze Company, the sole producer of white bronze monuments in the United States, made the Coit and Parry monuments. Incorporated in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1874, the company manufactured the hollow metal monuments until 1914.
Although marketed as white bronze, the monuments are made of zinc and are bluish-gray in color. Cast in molds, zinc monuments were available in designs similar to stone monuments. Once assembled and fused together, the zinc was sandblasted and chemically oxidized to produce a granite appearance.
Custom name panels were attached to the monument with screws. Stock panels were also available with inspirational motifs of flowers, crosses, and other popular symbols. Name panels could be replaced when additional family members needed to be added.
The monuments were sold through catalogs and sales agents. An October 1882 catalog noted they offered white bronze monuments, statuary, portrait medallions, busts, statues, and ornamental art work for cemeteries, public and private grounds and buildings.
Customers flipped through a catalog to “build” their perfect monument which was then made to order. Prices ranged from $2.00 to $5,000. This was less than the price of comparable stone monuments. Plus, shipping costs were significantly reduced due to lower weight.
The Coit Monument is an obelisk featuring a draped mourning cloth with tassels and acanthus leaves. The Parry Monument features a “Statue of Faith,” a female figure holding a Bible and raising one hand to heaven.
To learn more about the Coit and Parry Monuments, check out our latest video.