On August 15, 2011 I made a post to this blog that noted that the use of “flour” to enhance readability of gravestones was a controversial topic.
If you do not subscribe to the Posts or Comments of this blog, you may not be aware of a very nice comment that was left on that post indicating that “flour” should definitely NOT be used.
The comment was left by Mike Trinkley, Ph.D., Director, Chicora Foundation, Inc. of Columbia, SC.
To save you some time of going back to the original post, I thought I would include the comment here following in Bold and Italic:
Tony, the jury really isn’t out. It is a bad practice and here’s why. First, flour promotes the growth of lichen. Lichen damage stone by holding moisture to the stone, creating acids that attack the stone, and obscuring the stone. Second, flour does not readily wash off; instead it cakes on the stone, disfiguring it. Third, stones are not ours to treat in a cavalier manner — they belong to the families that erected them and to future generations. And fourth, there are other, equally convenient and simple, methods that do no harm. For example, using a flashlight to create a raking light across the inscription, maximizing shadows. Or using a pocket size reflector and the sun to do the same thing.
Mike Trinkley, Ph.D.
Chicora Foundation, Inc.
The comment stands well on its own.
You may want to visit the orignal blog post and see how the comment fits into the context of the entire blog post but I do think the comment from Mike is completely useful as is.
Consider using other alternative methods of enhancing the readability of gravestones as mentioned by Mike.
Leave the flour at home and bake some cookies when you return from the cemetery!
Thanks for the comment Mike.
Schaumburg Township District Library