The death mask is a┬ácustom that is no longer practiced in modern society. For those who aren’t familiar, a death mask is a wax or plaster cast taken of a person’s face soon after death. Death masks were often created as keepsakes to remember the deceased by or used for portraits. The process was also used for unidentified bodies, so that family may recognize the person after they have long been buried.

Abraham Lincoln (16th US President)

abraham lincoln death masks president assassination

February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865 (age 56)

Cause of death: Assassination, gunshot wound to the head.

Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father)

benjamin franklin death mask plaster fat

January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790 (age 84)

Cause of death: Pleuritic attack

(Note: Some argue this casting was made while Franklin was still alive)

Woodrow Wilson (28th US President)

woodrow wilson death mask stroke president

December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924

Cause of death: Stroke accompanied by other heart related problems

Isaac Newton (Physicist/Mathematician)

isaac newton death masks

January 4, 1643 – March 31, 1727 (age 84)

Cause of death: Died in his sleep

Frederick the Great (King of Prussia)

frederick the great prussia death mask

January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786 (age 74)

Cause of death: Died in his sleep

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