Dangers of Hypnosis

The last post on memento mori photography was pretty dark, so here is the brighter counterpart! When hypnosis became popular, Victorians were eager to try it but they also saw the humorous potential. These images, circa 1900, warned of the dangers of hypnotism!

Victorian Death (and Afterlife) Photography

The Victorians preoccupation with death and their enthusiasm for the paranormal puzzle us today. Perhaps earlier eras were focused on survival and had little leisure to be widely interested in things like séances, ectoplasms, and spirit photography. Later generations were certainly too skeptical. But at the turn of the century, everything seemed possible. If people could ride … More Victorian Death (and Afterlife) Photography

The Life of Happy

In May 1910, child welfare investigator Edward F. Brown carefully recorded the details he had gathered about the children selling papers on the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. One boy, in particular, had drawn his attention: 9-year-old paper boy Donald Mallick, nicknamed Happy. A familiar face in the town, Happy could be found out hustling at all hours … More The Life of Happy