Strange Vintage Photos of Kids and Hidden Mothers

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