A monumental perpetuation of genius [patent]

“What could be more appropriate or decorous than that the ashes of men of genius or enterprise should be placed in the form of a plaque in a part of the works to which they devoted their lives,” wrote Albert Vanderlaan in his patent document:

Method of perpetuating human remains and article made thereby,” US patent 1640680, granted to Albert Vanderlaan on August 30, 1924. The inventor explains:

“My method consists of incorporating the ashes integrally in material of a permanent character and molded or otherwise fashioned into an integral object, such as a tile plaque, object of art or, in fact, an object having any arbitrary size, shape and form desired… By combining my method with the best available contemporary art, indestructible objects of veneration and beauty will be created which for thousands of years to come will remain intact and historically indicate the progress of civilized man.”