Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

Death as a Way of Life Post-Mortem Tintype Photograph collection Jim Linderman


I know this hurts. A post-mortem tintype photograph circa 1870 depicts a mother holding her recently passed away child. Infant mortality was high and children were often photographed as a memento before burial. An image to share with family members, and nearly every post-mortem photograph is the only image of a loved child. Then, an all too common practice for young mothers. Today, merely a collectible category for early photography collections.


If a photographer can create art in a scene this sorrowful, then he or she is an artist indeed.


Early in the 18th century, death as a youngster was not as rare as it thankfully is now, at least here in the United States. It was also not uncommon for children to be given miniature coffins as playthings or told stories which placed an emphasis on death. Games children played and the rhymes they recited were gruesome indeed. Inevitable but unfortunate. I call it a failure in the design.

Post-Mortem Tintype photograph Collection Jim Linderman

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1 comment:

  1. And let us not forget the funerary dolls that were placed in nurseries to stand watch over the children still alive. I saw one at a doll museum and it quietly freaked me out because of how life like it looked and dead at the same time. The hair was from the dead child. The clothing from the dead child. I'm glad they didn't really catch on with the masses.

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