Joe and Will Thomas

Made:
c. 1920 in England
maker:
William Hope

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Joe and Will Thomas and their grandmother's 'spirit' A photograph of Welsh mediums and brothers Joe and Will Thomas, taken by William Hope (1863-1933) in about 1920
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

A photograph of Welsh mediums and brothers Joe and Will Thomas with their grandmother's 'spirit' , taken by William Hope in about 1920.

The Thomas family claimed that the image superimposed over the sitters was the only photograph of their deceased grandmother in existence. Hope, however, would have used an existing photograph of a woman to create the illusion. William Hope's spirit album photographs use double and triple exposure techniques to render the appearance of ghostly apparitions around the sitter.

Hope's work gained momentum in the aftermath of World War One, a time when many bereaved people were desperate to find evidence of loved ones living beyond the grave. Although his deception was publicly exposed by a private investigator, Harry Price (1881-1948), in 1922, Hope continued to practice.

Details

Category:
Photographs
Object Number:
2002-5054/8
type:
photograph
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
The National Media Museum, Bradford
status:
Permanent collection

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