Victorian Post-mortem Photography

Post-mortem photography was the practice of photographing the recently deceased, common in Victorian times. It strikes us as morbid today, but photographers were often commissioned by grieving families, and these photos were among a family’s most precious possessions. This was often the ONLY PHOTO the family had of the deceased person due to (1) the expense of photography (2) because the infant and child mortality rate was so high that often times the subjects were children. One more reason to count our blessings today. More than a testimony to the bizarre, it is a statement of the deep feelings that we as humans have for each other and the desire that we have to hold onto our precious memories of each other.

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