In the 19th century, with photography in its infancy, exposure times were long and the subject had to remain very still. A tough feat for many; nearly impossible for children. Mothers were often asked to hold their children still to complete the photo. A portrait of mother and child. Beautiful, right? Well, I guess sometimes parents wanted just a photo of their child. So mothers would hold their children still on their laps, and drape themselves in robes and fabric. In most cases, the idea was that the photo would be matted and the mother would be cropped out. But that doesn't really explain why the mothers covered their heads, too. What is left is a collection of bizarre, creepy, family portraits. Check out some of our favorites after the jump.
For more, check out this Flickr pool.