19th Century Post-Mortem Photography
When looking at these pictures, try to look on them with respect, and within context. These were living people (and pets), with families who loved them, and their decision to do this was done out of love.. Some had money to hire a professional photographer, some had little money at all. What we look at as "morbid" or "bizzare" was simply their efforts to preserve the memory of someone they cherished given the technology they had.
Think of the ways we memorialize our own dead.. Post-mortem photography has been replaced by glittery memorial webpages laden with animated gifs and embedded MIDI music.. Are we really any different?