Ghosts on glass: the trial of William H Mumler
Talk by Ashleigh Black, Archives Assistant and PhD Student Film and Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen
In 1869, in the wake of the American Civil War, William H Mumler stood trial in New York City for fraud and larceny, accused of deceiving his customers into believing that he could photograph spirits of their deceased loved ones. Mumler walked free, leaving many questions unanswered – was he a fraud or was he really able to photograph the spirits of the dead?
Image: Mrs. Tinkham by William H. Mumler, 1869-1878, albumen silver print, J. Paul Getty Museum. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.