in London, United Kingdom
Robert Coleman There were people who made a living from faking these. There is a famous one of Mary Todd Lincoln with Abraham's face superimposed. Apparently she fervently believed in the spirit world, and was taken in by one of these charlatans.
Mariana Fuzaro spiritualistic doctrines were popular at that time. Many people believed the souls of dead people could be contacted, photographed.... Dr. Crookes, a respected scientist, engaged in paranormal research (altough his results have all the characteristics of a fraud, and he was mocked by other scientists, some people believed it). It seems that even Tesla, when he was already old and insane, was working on a device that allowed people to "phone" the dead.
Penny Sharp Stanley We have my great-grandmother's stereopticon, and several of the picture cards have this type of image - which fascinated us as children!!!
Jill Rust here is the Mary Todd one
Mary Ellen Grayberg Very Interesting, I am wondering if Mary Todd Lincoln specifically requested the pic...I have never read too much on the lady but, I know she suffered from depression, and I am wondering due to the loss of her son and husband if the paranormal was also a part of her interest?
Robert Coleman I read that she had her portrait taken by a guy who had a reputation for having these things turn up, and was sought out by people hoping a deceased loved on would turn up. In fact, the photographer was faking them, but Mary Todd apparently fervently believed it was real,