During the Victorian Era, people pursued a range of unconventional pastimes. In a time when modern entertainment like television and radio didn’t exist, they found unique ways to amuse themselves.
One of these peculiar hobbies was post-mortem photography. While it may appear eerie to us today, it served as a source of solace for grieving families. Photographers skillfully arranged the deceased to appear as if they were peacefully asleep, providing comfort during a time of loss. Makeup was applied to make them look lifelike, a gesture of empathy in a world where death was a constant presence.
Another curious interest was the art of creating jewelry from hair. This ancient practice saw a resurgence during the Victorian era. Hair, often from a loved one, was woven into rings, bracelets, and necklaces, symbolizing love and trust. Some did it at home to ensure they used the hair of the person they had lost, distrusting professional jewelers.
These peculiar pastimes offer a glimpse into the Victorian mindset, where death was accepted as a part of life, and sentimental gestures held profound meaning. In an era without our modern distractions, people found solace and connection in these unconventional pursuits.
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Top image: Victorian hobbies can seem very strange to modern viewers. Source: Daxiao Productions / Adobe Stock.