“Heaven’s Gift” by Annie Benson Müller From the 1930s

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Why are these spooky babies wearing different wigs of real human hair?

Perhaps they made you think of Victorian mourning jewelry made from the hair of the deceased? These hairy babies are usually described as post-mortem photographs or mementos of dead children on the utter creepshow that is the internet today. Alas, the true explanation is less macabre, but the result is no less unsettling.⁣⁣
These are all homemade collages using reproductions of a picture called “Heaven’s Gift” by American illustrator Annie Benson Müller, which was mass-produced in the USA through the 1930s. Crafty mamas who couldn’t afford an expensive baby book or studio portraits would glue locks of their baby’s hair and scraps from christening gowns and baby blankets to these cheap illustrations – a loving albeit slightly unsettling keepsake of their beloved babies.⁣⁣
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Individually, these creepy-cute hair babies are not too weird, but put them all together and they start to feel downright ghoulish. No wonder people assume they had a more gruesome meaning! And hey, if the real explanation doesn’t satisfy your dark appetite, just remember: these assemblages were made for babies born in the 1920s and ’30s so technically most of these do use the hair of people who are (now) dead.

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