We all have different ways of grieving and remembering lost loved ones, but most of us don’t consider propping up our dead children and photographing them.

But back in the 19th century is was pretty normal for post-mortem photography to take place for grieving family members.

Now a collection of daguerreotype – the earliest form of photography – have been released that show people’s dead relatives slumped on chairs, or laid down to make it look like they’re alive.

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These photos are really quite unsettling…

This vast collection of eerie images was put together on the Thanatos Archive.

dead child from 1850s

A photo of a dead child taken in the 1850s (Picture: News Dog Media/The Thanatos Archive)

 

dead teenager 1875

An image of a dead teenager, taken around 1875 (Picture: News Dog Media/The Thanatos Archive)

Back in these times it was common for children to die from diphtheria, typhus or cholera and it was common to see parents in the photos cuddling the bodies of their children as though they were sleeping.

An image of a mother posing with her dead child taken in the 1840s (Picture: News Dog Media/The Thanatos Archive)

An image of a mother posing with her dead child taken in the 1840s (Picture: News Dog Media/The Thanatos Archive)

Some of the most disturbing of the photos are the ones where the photographer propped open the children’s eyes to make it look like they’re still alive…

dead-boy-fainting-on-couch

A dead boy on a fainting couch, circa 1853 (Picture: News Dog Media/The Thanatos Archive)

The fashion of this practice died by the start of the 20th century and daguerreotype was replaced by cheaper and simpler forms of photography, allowing families to take their own photos as their children grew up.

Can you imagine taking pictures of your dead loved ones these days? You would likely be ridiculed for it, it definitely wouldn’t be socially accepted that’s for sure!