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The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

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Wisconsin Death Trip

Back in 1967, author and historian Michael Lesy stumbled across a collection of late-19th century photographs taken in a small town in Wisconsin called Black River Falls. Intrigued by what he saw, he started reading the town newspapers from the same period. Artfully arranging the photos and newspaper fragments in sequences, Lesy published them under the title “Wisconsin Death Trip” in 1973. This audio slide show – a special web extra from our show on death and mourning – includes an interview with Lesy and images from the book, in addition to other images of Victorian post-mortem photography.