Usually though in the funeral industry, the hearse isn't called a hearse it is called a funeral coach. The funeral people think that "funeral coach" is less scary, creepy and more politically correct. Most of us really don't care and will call them hearse.
So Middle English came up with the word "herse" which is a candelabra type thing put on top of the coffin. Then in the 17th century people were using the word to describe the horse drawn carriage that took the coffin to the burial place, a.k.a the cemetery. Some of the original horse-drawn hearses were mostly made of glass so that people could see the coffin. Some of them didn't have anything but a frame.
~*The first motorized hearses looked something like this*~
Cincinnati Ohio was the first place that the hearses were manufactured by the company Crane and Breed Company. The first hearses only went 30 MPH (48 kilometers per hour) which was pretty fast for cars in 1909.
Always remember: Don't you ever laugh when a hearse goes by 'Cause you might be the next to die.