Not only did Albert Richardson invent the butter churn, it’s claimed he went on to invent the casket lowering device in 1894. His patent consisted of a series of pulleys and ropes which ensured uniformity when a coffin was being lowered into a grave. It’s something still used in cemeteries today.
Current models have sides that can easily be adjusted depending on the size of the coffin or casket, or the size of the grave itself. Thick nylon straps hold the coffin. Sometimes a roller is added to one end of the device to help the pallbearers guide the coffin onto those straps.
In the lower right-hand corner of this photo, you’ll see a little handle. That’s the brake. Once the brake is released the weight of the casket slowly takes it down into the grave.
Once the casket is all the way down, the green straps are unhooked on one side and then pulled under the casket and out.