Mumler Expands his Market
Mumler became so skilled at capturing the spirits, he developed a mail-in service to increase his market. He commissioned a regular advertisement in the Banner of Light, a spiritualist newspaper printed from 1857 to 1907. Under the banner, “Spirit Photographs by W.H. Mumler,” he offered to provide “Information how to proceed by those desiring a picture, without being present, and a beautiful specimen sent to any part of the world.” Clients would send a picture of themselves to Mumler. Mumler would then set the picture on a decorative display stand and photograph the photo. When he developed the image, spirits appeared in the photograph, remarkable proof of an afterlife, even when the spirit wasn’t specifically a loved one. While the spirit may not be specifically of a loved one, again, it was proof in the afterlife, and comfort in the wake of grief.