White Bronze Grave Markers
The Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, CT produced sand cast zinc grave markers (sold as "White Bronze") from 1874 to 1914. The company's product is in cemeteries from coast to coast both in the United States and Canada. Usually there are just two or three examples in a cemetery, if any at all. Mt. Hope Cemetery has 12 burial sites that are marked with zinc. The map below shows these locations.
Zinc grave markers stand out in a field of stone markers because of their characteristic blue gray color. After the markers sections were cast and assembled, they were sandblasted to roughen the surface, then treated with a metal finishing process called "steam bluing" which consists of covering the surface with a thin film of linseed oil, then hitting the surface with steam under a minimum pressure of 50 pounds per square inch.
The metal is nearly 100% pure. It weathers very well, and monuments made from zinc frequently look as good today as they did when they were first installed. They age better than marble, and are equal to the lasting qualities of granite. The markers were sold with the claim that they would last a long time, were about 1/3 less expensive than an equivalent marker carved from stone, and were modern and progressive. Their disadvantage is that zinc is brittle so the markers can be broken. Also, over time, large markers "creep" (sag), and so require an internal structure to support them.
Most of the markers have bolt-on panels so that an older monument could be kept up-to-date with newer burials. The panels themselves were made through 1939. A special tool, looking vaguely like a screwdriver but with a negative rosette bolt head where the end of the screwdriver blade would be, was used to loosen and tighten the cast zinc nuts.
Text by Don Hall
*In the "Photo Gallery " of this website is a photo album and descriptions of the zinc grave markers at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Mount Hope Cemetery Zinc ("White Bronze")
Marker Data - Compiled by Frank Gillespie and Don Hall
- Thomas East, died Feb. 26, 1907, age 75 of organic heart disease
Lydia Loomis East, died Dec. 26, 1916, age 76 of pneumonia
- John Park, died June 21, 1878, age 88 of old age
Rachel Ventress Park, died March 29, 1884, age 72 of degeneration of the heart
Joseph G. Park, died April, 1852, age 4, of consumption, (i.e.,tuberculosis)
- William P. Knight, died July 1, 1871, age 1, of influenza of the brain.
- Henry P. Rundel, died July 5, 1888, age 43 of diphtheria
Emma Wood. Rundel, died May 11, 1886, age 37 of consumption
Alice J. Rundel, died July 15, 1886, age 11 months of marasmus (i.e., wasting)
- Robert S. Mann died Nov. 4, 1910, age 71 of valvular insufficiency and Bright's Disease (i.e., chronic kidney inflammation)
Eliza Porter Mann, died Jan. 23, 1909, age 48.
- John C. Tunbridge, died Oct. 15, 1888, age 20 of intestinal hemorrhage
William E. Tunbridge, died March 11, 1887, age 24 of consumption (Moved to this plot to lie beside his brother)
- Alexander Millener, died Mar. 13, 1865, age 103 (WOW!) of old age. (Was George Washington's drummer boy.)
Abigal Barton Millener, died July 23, 1862, age 81 of apoplexy (i.e., stroke)
Joel P. Millener, died June 18, 1886, age 73 of valvular disease of the heart
Sarah Harden Millener, died Mar. 3, 1874, age 54 (Monument dated 1890)
- Henry Dejongh, died Mar. 25, 1896, age 80
Johanna Lantsink Dejongh, died Sept. 26, 1884, age 68
Miss R. B. Dejongh, died June 27, 1890. age 50
Jacob S. J. Dejongh, died Aug. 31, 1885, age 4 months
Reinira Dejongh (no info) (Monument dated 1885 with manufacturers' mark)
- Martha Oliver, died June 2, 1870, age 1 year, 9 months of drowning
(Her death was 4 years before the Monumental Bronze Company was founded.)
- Joel Eaton, died May 30, 1883, age 83 of softening of the brain (i.e., the result of stroke, or cerebral hemorrhage)
Permelia Colwell Eaton, died Aug. 30, 1880, age 28
Sarah Sibley Eaton, died Aug. 10, 1888, age 75 (a short second marriage?) (Monument has manufacturers' mark)
- Daniel T. Moore, died July 22, 1890, age 45, suicide by hanging
Alice Lockley. Moore, died Nov. 8, 1903, age 51 of pneumonia
(Monument dated 1906, erected by their child/children)
- Charles Boshart--died June 7, 1905, age 8 of septic peritonitis