Strange Vintage Photos of Kids and Hidden Mothers

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How do you make your toddler sit still for that holiday portrait? Parents since the 1800s have had the same issue, it seems, especially since tintypes required a much more patient sitting. This particular solution is a bit… eerie. Check out this gallery of kids’ very olde portraits and their “invisible mothers.” Spotted by Peta Pixel in a vintage photograph Flickr pool, these still children are held steady by guardians hidden under a thick drape or reaching into the frame with just one hand. Babies appear to float against a curtain of black, folded like wings. Little siblings seem apathetic, posing next to a woman, her face mercilessly scribbled into obscurity. What do you think of this yesteryear photo trend?

Image credit: Depth and Time via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Depth and Time via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Crafty Dogma via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Lauren Peppiatt via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Bee Archives via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Bee Archives via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: King Kong Photo via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Bee Archives via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Photo_History via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool

Image credit: Crafty Dogma via the Hidden Mother Flickr pool