Dressed in his Sunday best, a Victorian gentleman with a faraway look in his eyes sits in a chair while his photograph is taken. But if his posture seems rather unnatural, it is for good reason. He is dead. These remarkable pictures show the morbid way that the deceased were remembered in the late 19th century. The invention of the daguerreotype - the earliest photographic process - in 1839 brought portraiture to the masses. It was far cheaper and quicker than commissioning a painted portrait and it enabled the middle classes to have an affordable, cherished keepsake of their dead
Comments: Some of these may well have been the only images available of the deceased. Certainly a different approach to death than in modern times; not too long ago, wakes were held in one´s home.
Second image down appears to have had the head pasted into an older image, rather than posed as a group. Third one is heartbreaking; old cemeteries show the horrible effects of diseases that would claim many young lives.
I was going to make the same point, OP. We take photo´s for granted now, but they were expensive and time-consuming in the past. Mr. Cow has several family photos that were taken after the death of the relative in question, a bit grisly I suppose, but the only photos of that family member avalible. Mrs. Cow
My mother had a box of old pictures that I loved to go through when I was a kid. There was one picture of this beautiful baby on a small bed or maybe in a chair. She was surrounded by flowers and she was in a beautiful dress. I just thought she was sleeping (remember I was a dumb little kid). I finally asked my mom about the picture and she told me it was a picture of her dead cousin. It freaked me out. I would not look at those pictures again until she took the picture out of the box.
Tastefully taken photgraphs of the recently deceased are not grisly or morbid. They are by and large beautifully done.
I wish that when my 3 day old son died, that we had had the opportunity to take pictures of him. He had the most perfect bow shaped lips and a fingerprint sized and circled cowlick on the front of his forehead. I was terrified of forgetting what he looked like and by and large, I am afraid I have.
A few days ago when I was looking up something else, I ran across a Youtube video on this very subject. One thing I noticed, especially where babies & small children were concerned, they had them arranged beautifully with flowers & greenery as if they were sleeping angels. These children were loved & they were going to be missed. I found myself very depressed after seeing the anguished faces of some of the parents in the photos. When I really thought about it - what bothered me was the lost potential of those lives cut so short. Abortion doesn´t have a face - but the results are the same.
My mother-in-law had photos of relatives in their coffin. I don´t know why her family did this because they had plenty of photos of everyone when they were alive. I thought it was some sort of German custom, guess not.
"Bereavement photography" has become quite common, I believe, especially with parents who have lost a newborn baby. It sounds morbid to us, but for parents whose only memory of their baby´s face would be that photograph, I can understand why they would do this.
I can understand taking pictures of loved ones in coffins or before they are placed in coffins, in fact my mother asked me to take a picture of her brother in his coffin to send to their sister who couldn´t come to the funeral. One final remembrance of someone you deeply loved. However, the part about propping them up and propping their eyes open bothers me.
#11 Photographing the dead in their coffins is also very common amongst immigrants to the US, especially those with families still overseas. It´s just a matter of evidence for those unable to attend the wake and funeral that someone has actually passed, and provides closure.
Different time, different customs. In 1892, both victims in the Lizzie Borden ax murder case were autopsied on their own dining room table. Victorians also made mourning jewelry from the deceased´s hair.
As I looked at the pictures, I was noticing the fabric of the clothes they were wearing, as I do with all old pictures. And the reason I do that is because I used to see my grandmother heating her heavy irons on the wood cook stove to do her ironing and when you think of the effort it took to press all those yards of fabric that was in the ladies´ dresses and jackets it reminds me of how easy my life has been and how hard theirs was.
One of the first wakes I ever attended was of my aunt´s second husband, maybe 1968. Small western Mass town. Large 18th century farmhouse. Wake was in the living room. Traditional. But never been to one of those since.
It´s uttrly saddening looking at some of these photos, the ones with the children in particular. In those days, death visited frequently. Infant mortality rates were huge, penicillin was undiscovered, and the flu was dreaded for its implicationis health-wise. What a remarkable set of changes we´ve undergone from 150 years ago or so.
There´s something eerie about black and white photography. There´s a mystery there that is lacking in color.
Investigators probing the racist spray painting last month of the small-town Massachusetts home of an eighth-grade football player are now focusing on the 13-year-old boy´s mother. Andrea Brazier, mother of football player Isaac Phillips, is now being investigated as the sole suspect in a crime that shocked the town and nation when she blamed her son´s teammates for spray painting racist graffiti all over the family´s home. ‘Knights don’t need n*****s´ was found spray painted on the side of their Lunenburg home. The school cancelled the remainder of the Blue Knights´ season in response.
Robert Menendez beamed as a West New York School elementary school was named after him this afternoon. "I can think of no better tribute than having an elementary school named in my honor," the U.S. senator said at a ceremony at the 55th Street school, which previously was known as School 3. "It´s where it all began for me and I know my mother, who has passed away, would have been proud." (Snip) When he asked a crowd of sixth-graders sitting in the back of the auditorium what they dreamed of becoming some day, they shouted out career aspirations:
Despite the bumper-to-bumper decorations, Lynda Farley says she can see perfectly fine out of her minivan. And she was willing to drive more than 100 hours and 5,000 miles to prove it. The 62-year-old Kentucky woman made the nearly 12-hour, 800-mile drive from Edmonton, Ky., to Warren County "four or five times" in recent months to fight the $56 obstructed-view traffic ticket. Today, a New Jersey Superior Court judge in Belvidere tossed the ticket after ruling Farley´s view through the windshield wasn´t hindered by the political signs and figurines that cover her van.
Sydney — A brazen bird snatched a video camera that was recording crocodiles in northwest Australia and captured fascinating footage of its 70-mile journey across the country’s remote landscape. Wildlife rangers in Western Australia’s Kimberly region released video on Monday that reveals the sea eagle’s caper. The bird’s flapping wings can be seen as it grabs the device and takes off, and the eagle later poses for a selfie, poking its face into the camera lens. Rangers set up the motion-sensor camera along the Margaret River in May, hoping to record images of crocodiles. The camera, which is about
As toll increases go, the one that starts today is pretty moderate, at least for most of us: an extra 75 cents on your E-ZPass bill to drive a car across the George Washington Bridge. But truckers are being asked to dig a lot deeper — deep enough, they say, to cut into or even eliminate their profits. And some say they are now at a crossroads in terms of their willingness to take runs into and through the New York Metropolitan area. It will now cost those who pay cash to cross in the biggest rigs more than $100, and
A black Mercedes slows to a halt and the driver hurries to open the door for his celebrated passenger. The tip of a walking stick appears first, then, as it finds the pavement, lean fingers decorated with jewelled rings can be seen gripping its handle. After a few moments the stick is followed by its owner – a matriarchal old lady wrapped against the winter chill in a thick blue cardigan. (Snip) But don’t be fooled by her congenial smile and, above all, don’t get too close ... she is also Bulgaria’s grande dame of pickpocketing and proud of her
Oakland, Calif. — The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying their names and the personal pronouns they want others to use when referring to them — she, he or something else. It’s an exercise that might seem superfluous given that Mills, a small and leafy liberal arts school historically referred to as the Vassar of the West, only admits women as undergraduates. Yet increasingly, the “shes” and “hers” that dominate the
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
One of President Obama´s chief political assets has been his ability to excite young people like almost no politician in history. But the days of America´s youth fawning over the president are over. A new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday confirms what other surveys have shown in recent months: Millennials have soured on Obama so much this year that their opinion of him largely mirrors the American public´s. Even though Obama does not ever have to face another election, he should be worried about the findings for a couple of reasons, which we will dive into momentarily.
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
A stunning new study unveiled on Fox News´ Hannity finds that President Barack Obama’s White House calendar records just one face-to-face meeting between Obama and his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the more than three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare launch. The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement. More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”
Amid an array of “knock-out” attacks against a number of Jews in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, a city councilwoman pointed to the success of the Jewish community as triggering the aggression. Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo emphasized that while she “admire[s] the Jewish community immensely” for its work ethic, black teens may see it differently. “While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success,” Cumbo, who was recently elected, wrote in a letter. Chief among the issues