Abraham Lincoln and his Life Masks

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Photo:Reddit
Abraham Lincoln’s death was a dark moment in American history. It was an era where Presidents were not so closely guarded and his death at the hands of John Wilkes Booth stunned the country. Before his death, Lincoln had two life masks made, one in April 1860 by Leonard Volk in Chicago, Illinois. The second one ¬†was done by Clark Mills in February 1865 in Washington, D.C.

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Photo:Reddit

Volk said of the plaster casting process; “It was about an hour before the mold was ready to be removed, and being all in one piece, with both ears perfectly taken, it clung pretty hard, as the cheek-bones were higher than the jaws at the lobe of the ear. He bent his head low and took hold of the mold, and gradually worked it off without breaking or injury; it hurt a little, as a few hairs of the tender temples pulled out with the plaster and made his eyes water.”

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Photo:Reddit

Lincoln said he found the process “anything but agreeable.”

The stark contrast of the two masks is stunning. In 5 short years Lincoln looks to have aged tremendously.

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Photo:Reddit