After the Civil War it became popular for undertakers to come to the home of the deceased
to ply their trade. Different types of portable tables were used depending on the actual job
performed, from the actual embalming process to the tables used for viewing of the body.
This example was made by the Gleason Board Company, 124 Exchange Street,
Rochester, New York, c. 1880. It is made of walnut(?) with the top of laminated wood
and its surface completely covered in copper sheeting for easy cleanup. There are two
holes near the top which presumably held a securing device (not present). The table can
be either set up flat or with the upper portion raised at several intervals with slotted
supports. The wood legs fold inside the table when folded and there is a steel carrying
handle. Weighing just under 29 pounds with folded dimensions of 38″ long x 19″ wide x 4
½” thick. Unfolded it measures 75″ long and stands 25″ high. Very good condition with nice
patina to copper. Some crinkling to the varnish on the legs and one upper section hinge
screw a modern replacement. It is actually a very attractive and practical display table and
makes a great conversation piece with its somewhat macabre history.