Log in
There’s more to see...
Sign up to see the rest of what’s here!

Victorian Post-mortem Photos

A dead little girl surrounded by her dolls. Placing a child in a chair as if they had fallen asleep amongst their favorite toys was a common tableau in Victorian Momento Mori.

Drowned Alfred "Maxie" Sprangers (Born 3-10-1912) and his sister Johanna (7-14-1913) , who drowned after falling through the ice on Williams Lake near Williamsville, Michigan on January 6, 1923.

Twins in pram, outdoor post mortem.

  • Beverly Horvath

    I wonder if the died from the great flu epidemic...this is just so sad...

A mid-twentieth century snapshot showing an infant in a white coffin lying in the snow.

Paul Frecker - Nineteenth Century Photography

memento mori

  • Kristin Cole

    I've never seen this one before-really sad

  • Nann Hudson Flowers

    I have just learned about memorial photography. This is the saddest thing I've seen.

  • Andrea Sams

    So sad..I just learned of this tradition..the saddest thing I've ever seen.wish the story of how,was included with the picture.

  • Marti West Chavez

    Andrea, that's the biggest draw back to this. Most photos don't have any story, and it gets so frustrating! This one, I'm happy to say, I knew.

See all 8 comments

Post Mortem Photography - Virtual Teen Forums

Post Mortem Photography - Virtual Teen Forums

Victorian post mortem photo

  • Kristin Cole

    At first the living girl looked dead to me. Can you imagine how she must have felt having to pose like that.

  • Rachel Newman

    I think that death was not as stigmatized as it is today. People had wakes in the home and the body wasn't immediately taken away after death and prettied up to look alive for days at a time. I think that people fear death more now than they did then.

Post Mortem Photography

Post Mortem Photography - Virtual Teen Forums
  • Rena Robinson

    It looks like there is a stand behind the little boy.

  • Princess Jenn

    I agree with you.

  • Katie Allen

    there may be, they used stands to help living people stand still for very long times while they had the photo, they were not used for the dead only the living

Post-mortem photography

Post-mortem photography
  • Brandy Penner

    She is tied to the chair :(

  • Linda Songer

    sometimes things were put up the back when pictures were taken with dead children to keep them straight in chairs

  • Marti West Chavez

    He eyes aren't sunken and he jaw isn't slack.. Her hand is gripping that doll, not just placed there like it would be if she were PM. I just don't believe she's dead.

  • Antônio Lídio Gomes

    Uma fotografia emblemática... Paira sobre a menina certo mistério, da vida para a morte...

  • Jennifer Cooper

    Possibly child is blind?

See all 9 comments

post mortem photography. wow

Postmortem Photography: The Aftermarket
  • Rosana Modugno

    This was the Parson's Family, sharecroppers who were all murdered by Jodie Hamilton in 1906. I'm adding a link from the Museum of Miller County. This was a post-mortem photo but not done for the same reasons as the Momento Mori photos were done. This was a murder case, therefore the pictures were used as evidence against Hamilton, who was hanged for his actions. Just thought you'd like to know. I just wrote an article on Victorian Post-Mortem on Hubpages and have more pics in my albums here on pinterest if you're curious of the history. http://www.millercountymuse...

  • Lyn Gray

    This is fascinating and I first saw this in the movie The Others but never realised it was practiced so widely. It is kind of sad Cara. Especially the children

A particularly beautiful young girl laid out in the parlor, circa 1910. It was not uncommon to dress dead young girls in what looked like a wedding veil and dress to symbolize their purity as they go to 'meet God'.