Childhood mortality rates were extremely high and photography quite expensive, which is why so many children were photographed after death. It was the only chance most people had to memorialize a loved one. The 'subject' was usually made to look as if they were still alive. That is why they were sometimes propped up with a living family member, eyes wide open. It is really sad, and creepy, that most photos are of babies and children. The really sad pictures are of multiple members of the same family.
If photos like this bother you than please don't continue on. If you have a morbid curiosity like I do however, then by all means, enjoy...!
Anyone notice the random hand on the left?? Mom maybe?
This ones looks much newer, maybe from the early 30s.
Not all post mortem photos were of loved one:
The Dalton gang after a failed bank robbery.
This one is the saddest. An entire family with obvious head injuries. I can only guess that they suffered a fatal accident of some sort.