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SYMHC Live: William Mumler's Spirit Photography

2019-10-30 | 🔗

In the 1860s, Mumler rose to fame as a photographer of spirits. Whether Mumler was earnest or was just fleecing people is a tricky question, in part because while evidence mounted against him, he always professed his innocence. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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hello and welcome. The pack has, I am highly fry and I'm Tracy Wilson. if you guys are so cute. So if you look at old photographs, which we all have done at some point in time, they all look a little ghostie and magical in ethereal, but that is because they're old, the technology used to create them, wasn't as advances what we have now, obviously, and they have aged, but almost Hence french inventor niece afford me. Ups started, spare in the eighteen, teens and eighteen twenties- that far back with bitterness of Judea to create yeah graphs. Basically they were like son, developed images. People started thinking about possibility of whether or not a camera could capture the supernatural that which could not be seen the naked eye, but which a lot of people believed was there and of course today, if you
online? For like a quick google of ghost pictures, you will see a could, Julian of them, you leaving he tutorials on how to make your own goes pictures that are very, very convincing But then there are a lot of people think are real and whether or not that's the case as a whole matter of debate that I don't need to wait into. You believe what you believe- that's cool but we're going to talk about a man who similarly continues to be debated. whether or not he was legitimate or not. In this area there are people say that his work was definitely the real deal and others who point out a lot of the problem so, if we will talk about which are, in my opinion, who areas I want to set the stage. About some of the ways that people have. One It really genuinely wanted to actually capture the unseen photographic early and so on is going to start with a brief story about the man who actually inspired this episode, and I wanted to do an episode all about him, but they're just isn't really enough material, but here
is worth mentioning because he's fascinating. She. He was on his something super groundbreaking, which was the photography of thoughts, and that man was Louis dodgy Cellarway Darzac was born in eighteen, forty seven. He was a military man and rose up through the ranks of the french military to become a commandant. What he is most known for as highly just said is trying to take pictures of thoughts. In nineteen eleven dodgy wrote quote when they human soul, produces a thought it sends Aberrations through the brain, the phosphates it contains, starts radiating and the rays are projected out by that point here. Actually been working in this area of study. For about fifteen years and has operation to start in this field was work that eventually led Wilhelm Runt Kin to discover x rays in eighteen. Ninety five is kind of to similar ideas that branch out so X rays were happening. They were in development and he started to think. Hey we could
De Graf, the inside of someone's body. Why Couldn't we may be photograph Pictures of what is inside the human mind. It is such a code. Idea. It is layers, creativity, the love and are they wanted so badly to capture these radiating phosphorus thought raise that he developed a mechanism, he's sincerely believed could do exactly that as the thoughts exited the human head and was a pretty simple apparatus. It was a strap that went around the head and attachment for a photographic plate and this subject would wear this point. the ball radiography fur and the images that Here too, the photograph would be interpreted by Darnay so last night, it occurred to me as we are doing this and I gave that audience idea, and I also give to you if you wanna, go really esoteric with your hallowing costume gesture
a phonographic plate to your head and be a Louis dodgy experiments. No, we'll get it you'll be that jerk at the party. That's explaining your esoteric costume over and over, but it might be fun when you find that person whose like this is amazing, just marry them it'll be grave, imperfect, but here's the thing Tracy mention that these these thoughts These were interpreted by D J and the entire. Rotation aspect of the whole thing had its own poetry at one point asked his wife to hold a photographic plate in front of her forehead to capture her thoughts, She was a good sport, but she allegedly dozed off in this little experiments and when Darzac develop, this played she was absent. Really convinced that the image that it had captured was that of an eagle than they actually noted. This picture photography do you live leg, which translates to photo of dream? The eagle
but Madam dodgy was always very frank than she did not recall. Dreaming of an eagle already for that matter. Another There's a photo was produce when this subject refer to as monsieur H, war, the portable radio. for, while playing the piano and dark I believe that the resulting image was a portrait of Beethoven. I miss him her participation requires some creativity, because the page is a series of blurs and then the diamonds, area that Darzac outlined as Beethoven's images like just us, slightly sharper series of blurs This the longest walk together so that looking like a picture and link bless your heart. Lily, daren't J. to be clear as kooky is. This all sounds too. There were plenty of people who really thought that the work that Darcy was doing had a lot of me and should be explored further and
The reason that they were so very convinced was the way the dark J talked about. This work was in very scientific terms that court that we read earlier. You know he referred to things radiating out and projecting and raise in it's mine. He was not talking about something supernatural or anything, Hocus Pocus E. He really thought that work with scientific and he borrowed from the parliament surrounding the work that was going on with x rays. So there was a scientific explanation for the creation of these photos, but it was not that he was rendering human thoughts he was rendering body heat and then the further developing with nobody amateur so Darzac assertion was that he was capturing, thought and images, and that was debunked using a corpse
because the mission, while initially it seem like this whole corpse experience, experiment proved that dark days work was legitimate because when they put the portable radiography on the corpse, no image was produced because corpses don't think, but when warmed up the corpse lo and behold, the warm corpse produced some thought voters I am so curious, are. They warmed up the corpse I this really really ridiculous cartoon in my head. That involves a human size. Chafing dish I mean they were French Schreiber seems rang it and I don't know. I didn't I didn't find anything that said how they heated those court but those experiments they were conducted with the corpse
done by the French Academy of Arts and sciences, and they took hold of this whole thing because dark in writing. To them to explain his work and what he really thought was a scientific breakthrough and I'm writings about this whole event. Kind of frame this as lake revealed fraud and that you know they they pointed out there. J was of complete faker but really late hour journey was a believer. He was not a con man, he did not intend to deceive anybody. He was just really really wrong about what was coming over. This photos work, best live on both the J Paul. Getting museum has nine Darzac voters in the collection, including his wife's dream, Eagle Some of these images have basic drawings on them, sort of like you might like, draw the cup nation is supposed to look like to appoint. The viewers. Are what they believed was the important part of the photo. So one looks like an image of a cane
and two are what he perceived as bottles, one grand and one petite. And there is also a photo in that group at the Getty. That suggests that, in a way, Darjeeling was onto what was actually happening with these image images, but he just didn't quite connect the dots, there's one that's titled inferior plate light and not heat, and it is really blobs massive blurs and his kind of hints, that he knew that he was involved. But he didn't realize that body. He was the entire thing. They wasn't heat and thoughts that which is the whole deal Still, though, there were, and are people who work in this area and believe that Darcy was actually on to something, he's sometimes referred to as the father of thought, photography and the experiments that he was doing. There were experience, experiments that were by the words he was doing and I went on for decades. Yet even today there are people still trying to figure out. If we can capture,
what's going on in the human brain and render an image it's a little less about certain if Israel and legitimately scientific and not just borrowing scientific words, but the important here is the Darcy was by all accounts entirely. Earnest chimneys believe that he was capturing the index what we kind of said, as we started story. We re using this as a contrast, because he had no desire whatsoever to deceive and back contrast, the next man that we are going to talk about William Butler, he was doing his work, which was in Spirit, photography, DEC before dodgy actually and whether mom was earnest himself or was just fleecing. People is a tricky. Your coat, that continues to be debated in part, because, even evidence mounted again TIM and that he might be doing something dicey. He always unfailingly with absolutely no waiver professed his innocence,
scared, Sir William Howard memoir was the big name and Spirit Photography and a man who made a lot of money doing it. He was born in eighteen, Thirty two and then there's not a lot of information readily available about his early life or his education, but by the time he was in his mid twenties, he had settled. to this nice career as a professional engraver at Bigelow Brothers and cannot in Boston Massachusetts. This isn't it work and sales business that dealt end quote: watches clocks, rich jewelry, silver, silver plated and fine hardware, goods, ivory table cutlery, Geneva, musical boxes, watchmakers tools, files and materials for their advertising. a very focused business, He had a lot of stuff to engrave, though it kept busy, and it was really really well respected. In this regard, and this A similar spirit. Photography was accidental, allegedly,
He was interested in this still new field, photography in the early teens sixties. That was just a little more than twenty years after Lou. Again introduced the diggers type camera in in sixty one muffler started learning how to make wet plate photography a studio there was the MRS H, F, Stuart Photographic gallery and in his hobbyist work, when he was alone in the studio one afternoon she took what he intended to be a self portrait, not picture changed. His life because when the photo was developed, it look like there was a girl in with him, and she looked very. Ethereal theory is, though she was made of white and there are two different versions of how mumble perceive this event depending on the source that you read, you might read too don't totally different versions. So one is that mumble are claimed that he believed that this image was that of his dead cousin, who had been deceased, for I think it was twelve years, but sometime And he marvelled in this version. having caught a spirit,
his camera and he started to show people this photo, but the Their version is that mummer immediately thought that, because he was a novice photographer, he had somehow messed up and he had used to play that already been exposed, and then he was just showing it to France is an example of what a bumble where that he was in the developing space. So In this version it is a spiritualist friend of his who took that photo public, claiming that it was a real picture of a ghost and that's version, is the that mumbling relate in his autobiography and it is very convenient because it very carefully makes him in no way responsible. For the claim that this was an image of a spirit get me there either way regardless of which of those versions, was the real one. The photo was soon written up in two prominent spiritualist periodicals New York's, the herald of profit and Boston. The banner of white,
Ambler wrote later on that he was mortified by the attention that this whole thing was bringing to him, but then just kept happening when he took more pictures. then he started to think that it was not the error of an amateur photographer but an actual spiritual phenomenon. Again, that is the version he told this story. Years and years later servers. or lists. This picture was huge was cited as an instance of absolute proof that spiritualism was scientifically grounded and money it seemed had validated the entire movement. With this one image and as a the plans. To put it quite plainly, he blew up here, an overnight sensation. So this was right in the middle of the victorian era. Spiritualism was all the rage. There was just a deep bass. With the idea of maintaining some kind of thai or communication with the dead, Abraham Lincoln was president at the time and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was an ardent spiritualist. Additionally,
It was all kinds of technology developing that show that sometimes mechanical things, Telegraphs could capture information in a way that humans could not do on their end. This was really exactly the right time, culturally for people to just buy into this whole idea of ghosts appearing on film and, of course, I mean this is not specific. Just to this era and time any time someone comes up with something cool everybody just it right, that's how it works and plenty of people ready and willing to give William Butler Money to take pictures of their deceased loved ones. So in addition to the interest in spiritual ism, part of that however, was that this was also a time when a lot of people were losing loved ones on the battlefields of the. U S civil war, so those sudden losses made families really long for any sort of connection to or memento of the dead. So Remember, stop stopped working, isn't engraver and transition to working full time at the Stuart studio. Making these portraits he charged.
Ten dollars for a portrait at a time when getting a photo that did not have spirits in it cost twenty five cents A man eater so this sitting fee, regardless of whether a spirit decided to appear in the picture or not because sometimes Linen Wada, as this was really booming yeah. I I like the idea that sometimes spirits like AL, I beg of you, don't feel my best today feeling a little puffy. I got two hours of so the client. Oh excuse me, the client would come in for a sitting and then they would pose. Perfectly still for a minute to have their photo taken, and then, after that vote, it was developed, They would have an image of not only themselves but also their dead loved one, usually just behind them, we're just to the side. Hopefully that's it. we wanted this.
Thing, was very successful that William Butler also started a mail order. Business clients, kid male him, seven dollars. some fifty cents, along with a detailed description of their dead loved one, and then modular would communicate the Spirit voter graphically and then mail, the to them after processing. Those ones, of course, only contain the spirits, not anyone else. I am also curious about like what like, if he, if some said, hey when you're communing with these spirits photographic. What are you doing exactly what he would have had a better answer? She would just say, like I just take the picture, they show up yeah, he put it on a spirits. He was very not about responsible up to your nana. She wants to come and be in the picture.
midst of his growing interest in photography as all of this was playing out modular, had also taken an interest in the receptionist at Missus Stuart Studio, whose name was Hannah and Hannah was a medium been a medium since she was a child. She was well known in the spiritualist community of Boston as being very gifted in this regard. and William and Hannah were married and MRS Munger soon became part of the spirits portrait experience for their patrons So our customers were spending that full minute sitting in front of mothers. Camera Hannah would tell them all about the spirits that she could see around them. Sometimes she would lay hand on the camera acting a sort of a conduit for the spirits to make their way into the image. My mother also started the bill himself as a medium along alongside are claiming that his work as a photographer had connected him to the Spirit World
I want to know so much more about Hannah, because she's always described sort of his leg. Almost nineteen twenty starlit kind of lake strolling and maybe a little sleepy looking and like feel in it really feel in it like she really had like the whole jam down. She is good, So monitors business was going fantastically at this point, but I was on the horizon and we're gonna show. what that, but first we are going to pause for a little sponsor break. This episode us you missed in history class- is brought to you by eighty tea. Would you like? at the latest, innovation and smart home security, combined with twenty four seven monitoring for the most trusted name in homes, security. If so, eighty He is for you ain? The team of professionals that will design and install a secure, smart home. Just for you and there, Ten thousand employees safeguarding you was connection to first responders you'll the number one smart home security provider and
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in the car or when your kids are at school. With eighty go up complete with an s o s button, so go on secure your home or business today with eighty, so photography as we mention was an industry. At this point it was still in its infancy, so foreign newcomer to the seem who was very open. He was really something of an amateur to be doing booming business in a neat area using a mystery technique that no other photographer was able to achieve that I got a lot of attention. So much so that sceptics, some of whom were photographers themselves and hiring investigators to visit me somewhere and see if they could figure out exactly what it was. He was doing so in eighteen sixty you James Wireless Black, took an interest and members work. Black himself was also of attack
refer. He had actually forged some new paths, although they had nothing to do with spiritualism. He had travelled at a high virgin balloon and eighteen sixty, which global, Ok, doing this. He had taken the first aerial photographer there, the first aerial photographs of the United States, those we're. The city that he mumbled shared, which was still Boston yet turned out. The beer studios reached couple blocks away from each other and muscular can the blacks radar, when a potential customer broccoli when a member spirit photos and asked if black could also photograph, goes whether actually in authentically or through any sort of manipulative means and black, who was a very accomplished photographer. I mean he was well known before those aerial photos could not and he didn't have any theories about how exactly this whole thing was being pulled off by muffler, sues, really, cool is about mummers work and really sceptical that it was probably a scam
so he sent his assistant, who was named Horace Western to poses customer rumbler studio and see what he could find out. So not long after that Western went back to black and portrait of himself seated narrow window and the, of his dead. Father was next to him a horse. didn't knew a lot about photography and he had not seen anything and mummers whole process that looked like it was out of the ordinary said of blacks. Other employees laughed at him here, he again volume and like disguise, which it and there Horace. Are you drinking so at this point western, who had been laughed at was absent, we convinced of Muslims authenticity, and so he went back to my mother studio and he explained what had just gone down at lake. Nobody else believed He tried to explain that it was real and then he asked modular if Mr Black himself could come and visit an exam
and how these photos were taken and Butler happily agreed. He had no hesitation in saying yes and I'm over and specially agreed one when Western told him that black was going to pay him fifty dollars just for the chance to prove him wrong. So black went to visit as and more open up their talk by saying Mr Black, I have heard your generous offer. All I can say is be thorough and your investigations and then mumbled invited back to investigate anything involving the entire process from the camera to the chemicals that were involved in doing the processing. But here's being black was conceded didn't he so proud of his own level of knowledge- and he had a lot of corollary doubt that mummer was anything but a bubbling amateur, and so he made a decision in this whole process. That probably was the step that made him unable to figure out exactly what I was doing. I won
Point William Butler said: you're welcome to take my camera part. If you want just you know, examine it. Take it all part. That's fine, but black didn't think that where was smart enough to manipulate the mechanics of photographs equipment, and he even told him as much and at one point during the visit he said you are, smart enough to put anything on that negative without my detecting it, yeah, I kind of love, em cause it's fun to read: people buy it at the same time. He shot himself in the foot, I'm annoyed at home, because, unlike not only where Europe mean right there you add you may could have figured it out in that moment we would know now, but we don't anyway, Black steps suffers portrait and followed mumbled. I'm a studio and into the dark room, while the photo is being processed any even offered to let a butler even offer let lack do the developing himself, which black once again declined, although he did watch while modular. Did it
William Butler mentions two black that the spirits don't always appear. Slack said earlier times they didn't want it. But as this image Philip. The second figure did appear in it. The Spirit and James Wireless Black was convinced. He offered that promised fifty dollars to muffler this you know self protein self professed medium, wouldn't take it and that might have been is best p army there, his entire career, because then Black went and told the whole story, Oliver Boston, so to have blocked and other photographers as well endorsing his spirit. Work was, of course, a huge boon for rumbler business can do to grow, and one thing often comes up when these this is discussed in the modern era is how, if he wasn't fleecing these people. He was able to produce these images that they were recognising as their loved ones, and there are a few different factors that go into explaining this, so one people are really working for
memory. This is a time when they're just work. A lot of photographs are floating around. So if somebody was remembering what there Are there brother or their there late parent looked like a lot of times? They did not have a picture of them. They were trying to remember so things like hair and height and build we're to close than their brains would fill in the details as recognisable, because you know they might not have had another photo for common they may not have seen that person in quite some time and second I mean these images of spirits were kind of soft by design they were both a blurry and translation translucent, often so that same sort of fill in the blanks effect would happen for people who just really really wanted to believe in short, they saw what they wanted to see. They just paid to get a spirit for tar photograph taken. There gonna see that third, these pictures really pretty small, like I think when we talk about portraits everybody imagines those like horrible.
fritz. We all got in our senior year that were like eight by tender, not those they were little. My looks like an add for the wonder years by the way, but it's not good, not cute, but so, out of these were on what are called card to visit, which were essentially these little calling cards that were very, very popular. at the time they were kind of trendy. So it was, or to make out the details even of the living person that had sat for the portrait. Let alone the Spirit that was next to them, eventually, though there was a problem in eighteen. Sixty three people started to recognise the images of the spirits in the photos that member was taking as people who were still alive and had sat for him before. Yeah. Sometimes the ghosts of people who had died many years before were wearing the latest fashions war the main people you had. This experience was doktor, HF gardener and to be clear garden
spiritualist and he had been a believer in a big supporter of mothers work. But after seeing a spirit and his second we're photograph who he knew was a living person gardener then intent on exposing US photographer as a fraud. So no wrote the periodical, the banner of light to tell them about how mummers work in his second sitting with him was a deception, although he also noted in that letter that he still believe that some of my mother's photos were in fact real pictures of spirits. is combined with other people who similarly thought that the spirits and their portraits, where maybe People who wish to hold I've started turn the tide against malaria, who was plagued not only of actors, Accusations of using pictures of people that had appeared in his studio previously, for four portraits of their own, but that in between some booking there sitting and actually coming for the sitting he might have been breaking into their houses to steal pictures, they're dead relics, its
accusations only yeah. That was a permit. I love. The idea of him is like a cat burglar taking pictures, so he can fake them into other pictures. It's kind of great so modular started watching as business dwindle down to the point that he had to go back to engraving as a source of income. But then a few years of life in a city where people just thought he was a total fried that was about as much as he wanted of that. So he decided to do what anyone else in this that that position might do, which was to run away. He didn't go into hiding now It was much harder to distract people everywhere. They went right this time. So is easy enough for him to just moved to New York and start a spear photography business there, this in eighteen, sixty eight and initially thinks of New York started out really. Okay, my mother worked at the William W Silver Gallery. He did really really well in his first year after less than five months there, he had taken more five hundred Spirit photographs and he had made
of money that he bought silver out and just a few days after he purchased the business from silver. He was a visit by a client named Joseph each took her took, was Ordinary client, though he was the chief marshal of New York City, and he was there to investigate modular at the request of the mayor who had heard a number of accusations against him took her sap a photo after paying butler for it. And then, when it was developed, there was a faint figure in it which were said, was tickers Dead Father in law, so took her, take that picture and left and he also take some other samples of members word in one of its members. Advertising leaflets all of this was being gathered is evidence to charge meddler, because I was definitely his father in law. The photo didn't look like him at all yet took her just to monitor. It seemed like another satisfied clean out the door he likely so much. You took a leaflet doll going into
it's so soon. After that mobile was arrested for fraud and larceny jailed in the tombs, which was, and still is, the nickname for the Manhattan House of Detention and on aid. Twenty first of eighteen, sixty nine. The preliminary hearing for William Rumbler began. So this was really big news and sometimes he'll see referred to as his trial, but to be clear, it was not. A trial was a hearing to determine if the case should go before the grand jury, its understandable for it to be confusing there, because this thing went on for weeks and it was all over the papers and featured some big names, both from a legal standpoint and from a celebrity standpoint, and that was in part because mobile air was revealed as a possible fraud. If fuelled a growing scepticism that had been really burning, pretty brightly against spiritualism, so The city of New York, hired Eldridge T Gary, who is a very high profile lawyer,
they sound familiar. This is not the Eldridge Gary who we talked about in our gerrymandering episode. This, since, in fact, is man's grandson, because history, a bunch of different points and in hiring Gary to head this prosecution team against rumbler. The city was making a very, very clear message that this case really all about trade. the ism that was so closely associated with spiritualism. At this point, we are going to talk about the testimony of two particular witnesses from the hearing, but first for going to pause for another, quick sponsor Break ran trucks, motor train, back to back truck of the year. bragging about it just be an honest lands. Apes changed, you changed with it stronger more powerful innovative
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Abraham Bogart is just a name that a spectacular I don't wanna hear anyone ever criticise. It was an expert daguerreotypist, an photographer, and he testified at members hearing that their worst several ways in which mumble error might have created, hopes, photographs and when Gary asked him how many processes there are for making Spirit photos book yes answered quote I can Say we may count them by scores. I can take a man with an angel over his head or with a pair of horns on his head justice, wish Bogart is, even produced a fake spirit photo of his own and showed that it was entirely possible to produce an image of a ghost similar to what Mamma was doing and he splain one possibility for such trickery to evade detection. He said quote: I've made exhibits, buyer process not already described produced. They are made by taking a play
and putting it in the usual way, having an impression taken by any camera out of reach her side of the sitter and then putting the plate back into the coding back. They might be left. It might be left there as long as you like, and when a sitter comes, it can be used at the first impressionable appear with the figure of the sitter. This is easily done. Yes, it is based describing a double process where you would pre set the plate. An image on it and then put it in the bath and then, when the sitter came, you would act like it was a fresh, clean unused plate and put it in the camera and take the picture in that way. You would get this this image. The There are huge name that was involved in this hearing was none other than Peaty Barnum had not met modular in person before any of this, although he did know of him and they had correspondence and he there to be an expert on deceit in his opening here too, the court to state who he was and why he was there. He,
his name in his address, and then he said quote. I have devoted a portion of my life to the detection of humbugs whole idea. Cracks me up. I heard about mamore years earlier and had written a member that he intended quote to expose the humbug of Spirit, photographs Barnum also purchase sum of members work to hang in his museum and he wrote mummers work in his book humbugs of the world, although at the great book title he never use the smugglers name instead, just referring to Emma something like the photographer the whole way through, and he concludes that the chapter the Spirit, voters by column, calling them quote, delusions daily, practised upon the ignorance and superstitious your. He had been pretty vocally against manlier for a long time saying that, like you're, taking advantage of people who are grieving and that sucks
Barnum was certainly plenty problematic in its own right, so we don't want to pay him. Sort of saint. But he was a cent We there to say that he knew a deception when he saw one and that memoirs was exactly that. when Mummers lawyers question Barnum, they brought up his expert he's on such matters citing many of the entertainers own deceptions that he had made money out of he denied this characterisation of himself was deceitful, though he claimed that when he was right, resenting. The Fiji mermaid as a real thing, for example, that he had believed it to be real himself, and he only found out later it was fake at what point he was ass quote: have you never presented to the public matters? You know to be untrue and money for the exhibition of spurious curiosities. In response, he said quote, I think I may have given a little drapery with it. Sometimes
of course, that responses some laughter in the courtroom, but they were basically making a case that his testimony wasn't trustworthy because he was the known deceiver yeah. I was kind of interesting that both both sides were kind of making the same case, but is evidence for themselves. It's like you can't, testify you're deceitful and they were like you're. An extra cause you're deceitful I sort of love about photo We mentioned earlier that was taken by Abraham Burg, artists and introduced of evident as evidence was actually a picture of pity, Barnum and floating to them of Barnum's head is a ghostly version of Abraham, Lincoln You can see this picture online, it's pretty cute photo showed. How easy it really was to make a pretty convincing spirit photo with now whatsoever involved. mobile who a significant thing on his side and all this. The prosecution just couldn't figure out how specifically he had created the hoax images. Sobol Garda had offered up
possibilities, but they couldn't with any certainty that any one of these specific things were what member with doing and then for Mummers Party, you stuck to his story that they were in fact, spirit photos. He was making them by taking pictures of ghosts, and he said just took the pictures that was up to the spirits whether they wanted to be in them, or not, and so on. May third, eighteen, sixty nine justice Dowling who presided over this hearing, made the following statement quote after a care full and thorough analysis of this interesting, and I may say extraordinary case. I have come to conclusion that the prisoner should be discharge. I will stay that. However, I am morally convinced that there may be fraud and deception practised by this prisoner I sitting is a magistrate to determine from the evidence given by the witnesses according to law and compelled to do that I would not be justified in sending this complaint to the grand jury, as, in my opinion, the prosecution
failed to make out the case. I therefore dismiss the complaint in order, the discharge of the prisoner, and that was that, and since this was tied up in the overall questions of the spiritual is a movement. You might think that that would have helped them out because the charges have been dismissed, Opposition to spiritual is also thought that the wide publicity the case and the fact the judge said that he was personally convinced of mummers deceptions. They thought that was a success, so the p, bull who were for spiritual ism that they won, because the charges were thrown out. well, who were against spiritual zone that they won because the judge was like. I know, you're guilty exists, It rests far too Nobody wins, everybody thinks they do gap. And there was another pretty significant blow to mothers, reputation two weeks after this case was concluded. The american
due to its photography section, issued a statement denouncing mumble, making it clear that he was welcome in the New York Photography community. So after this hearing and then what amounted to public, shaming by his entire profession, malaria again, this time back to Boston for awhile, taking spirit photographs in a studio that he set up in his wife, Hannah's mother's house, and the demand for his work a lot lower, but he did he make his most high profile portrait in that Syria that he set up a booking was for Missus Lynde all around eighteen. Seventy, but really this wasn't payment for Maritime Lincoln and as we an earlier. She was a spiritualist. She why a photo of herself and her late husband, and that is exactly what William Butler gave to her in this photo. Mrs Lincoln is facing directly toward the camera and then standing she's where our black what looks like a black black bonnet and then the Spirit of Abraham, Lincoln,
is behind her just to the right and look. to be looking down at her lovely lovingly with his hands resting on her shoulders. You can see, internet is actually pretty cool. It is a very sweet picture and this fund was reproduced many times It became a really popular souvenir, but it did not invigorate William Butler Photography career. The last years of members. Life actually diverged completely from his life as a photo graphic medium. He wrote in October Murphy in eighteen. Seventy five in which he told his side of the whole story of his work in that area, that is, is the one that we reference before and once again, he admitted you'd never admitted to any kind of deceit or fraud William and Hannah, though divorced four years after that book was published and after they split up, he never took another picture. He died in aid.
Maybe for in his early fifties and has a bitch weary. Emma photographic times is fascinating. It mentions that he was the inventor and treasurer of the photo elector type company graver of providence a success. I photograph publisher and an inventor his mom, or process was what enabled papers to stop using wood cuts in their new stories and instead to print actual photographs using photo electric plates obituary, also mention that he was working with some new technology. That would let foot that would let photographers use dry plates instead of having to wet coat the plates before use its. Mobile areas still to this day considered the first Spirit photographer, but he definitely was not the last, particularly as photography became less and less of a special his last several years of his life, apparently eclipsed all of that crazy Hetty touch. You is really quite famous, were I I no. If that was just a really kind, o bit right,
or if it that point people will again on its arguments, spirit photography than a pauper There is still to this day considered the first Spirit photographer, but he definitely was not the last, particularly as photography became less and less of a specialised hobby or profession and was progressively we're accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts, the number of people aiming to photograph. The paranormal and supernatural grew in some cases, as was claimed with members. First photo. These images were accidental. There is an effort, like a photo of Combermere Abbey and Cheshire England put civil Corbett on the map is a spirit. Photographer Corbett had set up a camera to take this photo with an hour, long exposure and then women picture was developed, there was what looked to be a slightly blurred and transparent, but still very present figure of a man sitting the foreground chairs and in the case of the combermere image. Many believe to this day that it is the
of Lord Combermere himself, civil Corbett's brother in law. Recently deceased. Apparently, he was actually being interred in the hour that this photo is being taken, and, while most sceptics will point The most obvious explanation is that during very long exposure, some servant came in, took a seat for a second to rest got up go about their duties and that's what created this sort of ghost image. Other people like to point out that even the photo that she was an important man all of his servants would have been required to attend his funeral. Civil Corbett did not try to make career path of this as a spear photographer any infamy, then what her actual opinion was total mystery. We don't know Why you're one also had a pretty significant impact on the interest in Spirit Photography, just as was the case with the? U S, civil war, the losses, loved ones. By so many families kind of Stoke the fires of hope that they could
somehow see their dead again, even if it was only in a static image and into that moment that was so filled with grief stepped photographer, William Hope and hope like Mama was bringing the cancellation of a photograph with a dead loved one for a price in nineteen. Two hopes work had gained enough attention that he was investigated by apparent. More researcher, Harry Price and price was able to pretty. Quickly determine that hope had been using two glass plate simultaneously to create his fake. So one of the play would already have a ghosts image on it and the other was a clean played. There was to capture the the live subject that was sitting for the portrait and he would kind of stack these. In the camera simultaneously, so that when the image captured. It looked for all the world like a ghost sitting or standing next to the person who was still alive even though hope was exposed. He just keep doing it. He had plenty of followers. You dismissed prices, findings and kept patronising them both
photographer any medium. Sometimes evidence doesn't make people believes the truth. Now look we're all in the same page. Here we all know it's got in one thousand, eight hundred and thirty six. There was another mysteriously haunted photo that was taken in Norfolk, England, and in this case there were two men involved: Captain Hubert for bond and interest shero, who was provides assistant. Then these too are working for Country Life Magazine and they were. They are a saint assignment at Random Hall, taking pictures of this beautiful estate, so there getting ready to take a photo of the buildings main staircase and timber Shiro saw what he described as a vapoury form that slowly took I'm features of a woman floating. The stairs, Sera Ex exclaimed in shock and then provide, he was under the cameras, cloth jumped and snapped the photo and then captured an image of a
Austin the process in the magazine, wish this phonograph, because why would you not? And, of course, it was a sensation, Raynham Hall kind of already had its own ghost lore attached to it, specifically that it was haunted by Lady Dorothy, Townsend and the sister of was the sister of Robert Walpole and she had died at Random hall in seventeen twenty six, her legend involves a possible adulterous affair and being held there at the hall, while the outside world was told that she was dead as a punishment for that affair. all of the reality of this is super blurry and the historical record, I'm just telling you like the mythology that fed this pictures popularity see we don't have evidence, but it sure makes a really good story that supports the idea that this is a ghost picture and lot of the magazines readers believed that clearly provided cheer. I had managed to get a picture of Lady Townsend once again,
Harry Price was on the case. He opened an investigation into the so called brown lady. A random hall name so because she was allegedly wearing a brown brocade dress her picture was taken and then, unlike his work, uncovering hopes, fraudulent photos. Price couldn't find evidence of specific trickery or foul play on profound ensures parts road of this investigation quote. I could not shake their story and I had no right to disbelieve them. Only collusion between the two men would account for the ghost if it is a fake, the negative entirely innocent of any faking and prices word carried some significant weight, but there were still a lot of sceptics who did not believe that the reign of hull photo contain an actual ghost and in in thirty seven the year following the pictures publication in its huge surgeon popularity, the society for cyclical research, determined that the ghost that was captured was actually just the result of the camera being shaken during the six seconds exposure at some point, so no they were not
deceitful, but they also did not take a picture for good maybe when he cried out an alarm son he jumped out. Imagine that would shake the camera but here's the thing that going back to my mother. looking at this Mary Todd, Lincoln Portrait and other photos, that becomes really apparent that, even if you think he was a fried, he was taking a lot. He was taking a lot of care and how these images were composed, and he probably did give us of people. Some comfort through his work, this and in a lot of contrast to William Hope who, for example, had voters that were like way less finessed. Sometimes it looks like sloppy collages or like he had kind of scratched the negative to make spiritual presence with no form there. Whether you are, a fraud or legitimate muffler was much better artists. When it came to the composition, I mean, like We said earlier a lot of these photos. You can see, I mean really lovely. Either ends
this? Is that Mary Todd, Lincoln Images actually quite moving? It's really beautiful, but the thing remains unknown. To this day is exactly how William Butler was taking these spirit photos he may have had a previously prepared glass plate sitting in I'm an unused play in this camera, one of the ways that we talked about this being done so that when he took that image of the client in also capture the ghost but so could have used any one of the methods that Abraham Bulgaria's had described during butlers legal hearing, but nobody we knows- that's all speculation and it's part of my memoirs kin continues to fascinate alot of people, and why is does used as evidence both by sceptics who think that the voters are obviously fake and bible ever seen point out that their creation is still a mystery status William Butler Spirit Photographer in history mystery, but we really cannot hey. I'm not. I cannot stress enough. Thank the staff at park westerner further. Hospitality and their incredible level of organization we felt
pampered while we were there in that building is really cool guy. They were absolutely great, and if you would like to come to one of our lives shows we have good news. If you are in Texas, we will be touring they're starting November 14th. Twenty nineteen- and you could get me- or information. If you go to our website, click on where it says live, shows the top of the page or just go to missed in history calm, flash shows and then I think highly to close this out. You have some listen male. I do it said: there's a longest episode, so took a quick one, and this is from our listener, Catalan. I think that is what she goes by should start thank. You As for all the things I get to learn by listening to your entertaining podcast, I'm emailing after the Robert List, an episode because it just so happens to be released the same day that my little kitten, went to the vat to amputate his nub. He was born, a paw on his right back leg, causing it to grow a bit weird and it usually stuck out from his side like a chicken wing, goes on. describe a little bit more of it, but basically ass. She had that they had to have
surgery for it. She said your episode was a nice thing to tell me that this guy had it down way back when and taught others to do well also, and they gave me a little extra confidence that the technique for the tiny kitty would be geared Helping him too, she also attach pictures of this incredibly weapon eyes. level cute cast for which we thank her. I'm so glad he's doing well in surgery went well. I have said many times on the pike ass. My hat is always also veteran areas for the work they do because They are learning to deal with many species, not just one human species like a human doktor, just also knows the human doctors, but it's a lot of work and I think they don't always get enough credit, so I am so glad. You're kidding is doing well and again always happy for a chance to shut out the also as a veterinarians, every human like there. I do as you could do so- that history pie cast in house to work star com. Do you know find us everywhere and social media as Mr History and that web page, Tracy mentioned a bit ago, is missed in history that come so common check. This out, there
check your life show information. You can also subscribe to the pod cast us something we delight in Amman, courage. You could do that on the heart radio, app at apple, cod, gas or wherever it is. You listen We must then history, glass of the production of Iheart radios. How stuff works, for my part have for my how radio visit thy heart, Radiohead amplified guests or wherever you listen to your favorite, shows. my name is Brandon Phibbs. I want you to do away with me. Aboard APOLLO. Eleven will be covered. The mission from start to finish day by day hour by hour, minute by minute, suffused with original music and fully immersive sound effects. This podcast is going to be the next best thing to actually being aboard APOLLO eleven. This is nine days in July.
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