Iron Coffin Mummy on PBS

Captain William A. Pollard

Tales of Captain William A. Pollard's crime-fighting prowess were regular features in the newspapers on both banks of the Hudson.

Captain William A. Pollard 1816-1854

William Pollard was born in 1816 in downtown Newark, New Jersey. He spent his adult life in Jersey City where he had a distinguished career as a constable, fire chief and eventually deputy sheriff of Hudson County. He also was the founder of the Jersey City Continental Guard, a local militia. Pollard was considered a local hero and his crime fighting exploits were well documented in the news.  He died of a contagious disease, likely cholera, in Irvington on September 3, 1854, and was buried in the First Presbyterian churchyard in Newark, where his coffin was discovered in 2005, during the excavation of the Prudential Hockey Arena.

More information to come.


Example of a typical police uniform during Pollard’s time.
Facial Reconstruction by Joe Mullins and Photos by Emily Mullins
Pollard’s Home – 16 Wayne Street, Jersey City | 1848
Pollard’s Home 25 Walnut Street, Newark, 1836
Pollard’s Coffin Opening at the Smithsonian Institute – 2009, Photo by Chip Clark


In the News

Scott Warnasch asnj bulletin

Archaeological Society of New Jersey’s Bulletin

I’m excited to announce that my article on the early iron coffin industry has been published in the Archaeological Society of New Jersey’s Bulletin. Please contact me if you would like a copy, or go to to get a copy of the entire journal.  ABSTRACT Fisk’s airtight, metallic burial cases were created in response […]

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Death, Burial and Egypt

image from Fisk developed his coffins at a unique period in early modern history when many traditions were being challenged, fading or replaced. By the early 1800s, American attitudes about death and burial had begun to move away from the puritanical views of the colonial period and the traditional concepts of the body, soul, […]

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Article by Kaya Laterman The flier advertising a near-one-acre plot of land for sale in Elmhurst, Queens, looks like a typical real estate listing. The oddly-shaped parcel that abuts the Long Island Rail Road tracks is available for $13.8 million. According to the flier, the lot is a great opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand for residential space […]

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