An authentic postcard showing two sisters laid out in matching coffins. An inked inscription verso in a fine period hand identifies the girls as Claudia Severine Groth / Born Sept. 30, 1908 / Died Feb. 20, 1911 and Millie Cecelia / Born Dec. 25, 1910 / Died Feb. 21, 1911
Beginning in the mid-1800s, post-mortem photography (or memento mori) was a popular way to honor and remember the dead. Most were taken shortly after death, and could look incredibly life-like. Photographs were expensive, so often the post-mortem picture was the only one ever taken of an individual. Families evidently thought it better to have the remembrance than to lose ithe opportunity.