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    Nannie McGhee Garthright, born 6 Apr 1855, died 15 Aug 1897. Buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Richmond, VA.

    I am really afraid that someone will call this tintype of mine a post mortem. It is one of a number of tintypes of the same young men in a photo studio pretending to fight, play checkers, and sleep. They are perfect examples of the sense of humor that the Victorians sometimes brought to their interaction with photographers. I think some of the more bizarre, so called post mortems, can be explained by this kind of playful activity.

    I usually only post photographs from our collection with the "NOT a post mortem" line if I have seen them on a Pinterest board labeled as post mortems. In this case I saw this cabinet card of Louis Cyr, the famous strong man, with his wife and daughter on a board and realized that sooner or later the "poising stand means they are dead" crew will fasten on the bases behind their feet to claim that they are dead. Consider this a preemptive strike.

    I just found this tintype of mine of a very much alive baby being held by a hidden mother on a Pinterest page called "Death photography". DUH! what about this baby says she is dead?

    This is a post mortem in our collection. It is an elderly woman in her coffin. She was not photographed standing, strapped or wired to a posing stand. This is what an actual post mortem looks like.

    This is a cased 1/6 tintype of an elderly woman. We found a scrap of paper advertising daguerreotype cases behind the tintype. There is faint writing that told us she lived in a village in Pennsylvania.

    A young woman lies under a flowered cover wearing a night cap. Is it a post mortem? Yes, it obviously is. She was photographed as if she was sleeping, not strung up on a posing stand.

    Check out this site: "Victorian Post Mortem Photos - The Myth of the Stand Alone Corpse" for excellent information on spotting fake post mortems!

    Tragic. A real photo 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. Underneath this the inscription identifies their mother, Mrs E. O. Groth / Enderlin / N. Dak.

    A deceased child positioned in a chair. Often if the body was propped up eyes were either painted onto the eyelids or the photographer would draw eyes onto the photo itself. 1854 saw the advancement in photography of color-tinted ambrotypes, thin negative images on glass made to appear as a positive by showing them against a black background. Ambrotypes sold at less than half the price of a daguerreotype. (This is not an ambrotype of course)

    Beautiful angel with her hair bows and baby very sad.

    Such a tiny, tiny baby.

    This boy named Herre died in 1873 at the age of two years and a half. The photo was found in his father's diary, which mentions the following: "We had one portrait made in his bed after he died by Ephraim. Later he put the head on a portrait of his child, wearing Herre's clothes, which became quite good". A very unusual example of early photoshopping avant la lettre!


    Housed at the National Museum of Funeral History,this three-person casket was apparently commissioned by a couple who had lost a child and, in their grief, decided they wanted to commit suicide to join her. They took the time to pay someone to design and build this before they did it, which we can only assume must have taken a good deal of time since it was clearly an unusual custom job.

    Death Mask Victorian Post Mortem (Image1)

    Said to be an army hospital nurse, this post mortem (death portrait) photograph shows a young woman holding a book, possibly a small bible or testament. The revenue stamp on the back dates this image to 1864. Annapolis was the site of one of the largest Union Army Hospitals during the Civil War and at least 5 female nurses died of diseases caught while tending patients there. Three of them died in late 1863 and two died in early 1865. The 1864 stamp on this image places it between those two time

    Post Mortem

    Margaret Alice West On saturday, september 30, 1865, at 3 o'clock am, of congestion of the lungs, Margaret Alice, infant daughter of William K. and Julia E. West aged 3 years, 1 month and 10 days.

    Lee Harvey Oswald in Morgue - Print

    Poland, A Jew holding the corpse of a baby.

    This VERY rare

    The poor chap in this photograph looks stunned, and no wonder. I love the tender way he’s holding the baby’s hand.