How to Date Old Ancestor Photographs with Early Photo Types

Contact Dating Tintypes – The earliest tintypes were on heavy metal. They are stamped “Neff’s Melainotype Pat 19 Feb 56” along one edge. Sizes range from one-sixth plate to full plate see appendix El. Many are found in gilt frames or in the leather or plastic thermomolded cases of the earlier ambro-types. After the paper holders are embossed rather than printed. Uncased tintypes have been found with cancelled tax stamps adhered to the backs. The stamps date these photographs to the period of the wartime retail tax, September 1, , to August.

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The box always looks roughly the same. Not long after I took up genealogy in , I began inheriting boxes and bags like those, and they all had lots of photographs — old ones. The photographs from the latter half of the 20th century are easiest to identify.

Compelling pictorial archive of vintage photographs, selected from rare tintypes and other authentic materials (s), depict little girls in their mothers’ hats and clothes, sisters wearing identical plaid dresses and button boots, a young man in an everyday suit and bowler hat, a boy dressed in Little Lord Fauntleroy style, and scores of other representative portraits.

After searching for a specific type, such as a daguerreotype, click the image option. James Ambrose Cutting is credited with the process, which dates to the early s. The Wikipedia article at http: If you think you have an ambrotype take note of the casing, as the style can also be a clue to the time period. Both types were printed on paper or card stock, and originally created through a type of albumen printing which was used to bind images to paper.

It is also referred to as a calling or visiting card. This cabinet card from my photo collection identifies the photographer as James S. Research shows he lived from , and if my guess is correct, this sepia-toned image was probably taken between She used it to record images of plants for her research, as described in this article from a South Dakota newspaper.

Dating 19th century photographs

Example of cabinet card with photographer’s details – this photog’ was at this address Like me, you may have a collection of old photographs handed down to you with no knowledge of who the portraits are of, or even when they were taken. Here’s a few tips to help you out. Many photos may be printed on paper and mounted to stiff cardstock and stamped with the photographer’s name and address in the margin or on the back. Using directory records, you can track when that photographer was working at that particular address, narrowing down the time period in which the photo must have been taken.

More details on this can be found here: Get to know the clothing and hairstyle fashions of different eras.

Jan 08,  · When photographs have no date indicated, it can be difficult to pinpoint when the photo was taken. Learn a few tips that can help.

We know nothing more about him, but his image certainly grabs you. First there are the captivating eyes the liveliness of the eyes is characteristic of most daguerreotype portraits. Then there is the startling clarity of the determined face, which, framed by long hair, seems remarkably modern, not to mention lifelike, thanks also to the superb hand-tinting. Daguerreotype photography was less than a decade old at the time this image was captured, and it had already developed its own conventions.

But this picture moves beyond convention and has far more to tell us: Whatever the facts about R. The identity of this dapper, self-possessed adolescent is unknown, but we do know that he sat for the New York daguerreotypist Silas A.

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Examine your photograph to determine which type it is. It’s handy to own a magnifying glass and a measuring tape for this part of the identification process. It also helps to have examples of each popular technique. Daguerreotype This was the first type of popular photography, especially during the s and s.

The Daguerreotype (/ d ə ˈ ɡ ɛr (i) ə t aɪ p, -r (i) oʊ-/; French: daguerréotype) process, or daguerreotypy, was the first publicly available photographic process, and .

There is no tin in the tintype. It is a blackened iron sheet. A Photograph for the Masses The tintype photograph saw more uses and captured a wider variety of settings and subjects than any other photographic type. It was introduced while the daguerreotype was still popular, though its primary competition would have been the ambrotype. The tintype saw the Civil War come and go, documenting the individual soldier and horrific battle scenes.

It captured scenes from the Wild West, as it was easy to produce by itinerate photographers working out of covered wagons. It began losing artistic and commercial ground to higher quality albumen prints on paper in the mid s, yet survived for well over another 40 years, living mostly as a carnival novelty. Is My Image a Tintype?

The tintype is very easy to identify if it is loose or in a simple sleeve. It is a thin iron sheet. However, it is frequently confused with an ambrotype if it is in a case. Earliest examples of tintypes were cased just like ambrotypes and daguerreotypes. Cases were used into the early s. But the price of the tintype was dropping so quickly, that the case was far more expensive than the actual photograph.

How to Date Your Old Photos

Tintypes dating site, silversingles Dating Tintypes By Clothing Early tintypes were put under glass, but later were placed in cardboard sleeves. This group includes a. The jackets seem to indicate a photo taken in the s, but I’m still not certain. Sadly, the age difference doesn’t help me much. When that day comes if I can be instrumental in bringing it about I will consider myself worthy a Page in the Cyclopedia, otherwise I prefer to remain known simply by my circle of personal friends.

Daguerreotypes This first successful photo process is attributed to Louis Daguerre.

The dating is based on the business address stamped on the matting, the period when Holmes worked, and the boy’s clothing. And, like the Jameson image, the fellow in this one also seems ready to speak to us over the centuries.

Dating infants is best achieved by dating the photographic process, we stress this enough. See “History of Photographic Processes”. The image can be on copper, glass, tin, or paper. The shape, color, size and information on them can also give clue as to the decade. The background or any object visible can be researched. If you can’t determine the physical properties it was made of then you have to try to scrutinize the clothes.

In all decades it was the custom to add elements of the current clothing trends of adults to children’s clothes including the white gown on infants. All infants boys and girls wore long dresses like these until they could walk. As they got older and began to crawl they would get shorter.

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Unearth your Jewish heritage. Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. When was the subject born? Did he live in a city or a small town? What work did he do? Both the men in my photo are young, but one appears to be older than the other, and he has arm slung around his younger brother’s shoulders.

The clothing styles are so different by the s that that they would be easy to identify. Dating Daguerreotypes We are unsure how to assess the date of Daguerreotype image.

A few weeks ago, we shared a photograph of an unidentified building which had long stumped the Library staff. This view shows the area near the jail around the period the photograph was taken. Several readers suggested that the date of the ambrotype was incorrect. In our files, the ambrotype had been dated as circa s or s.

However, we agree that the clothing does appears more representative of the s or s, and use of the ambrotype format also points to an early date. By the s, photographers more commonly produced tintypes and paper based photographs, which were cheaper and easier to make. The tower is quite similar to the one in the background of the photograph. Maryland Penitentiary Fallsway at Madison Street , ca.


Please update your billing information in Account Settings to reactivate your account! Dating Your Vintage Photographs — Part 1: Image Formats Posted by: No comments Many people inherit photographs of generations of ancestors and struggle with frustrations of identifying exactly who is in each photo. Understanding the time periods for certain image formats can help tremendously, though. Optical boxes utilizing pinholes and reflecting light have been used to project images onto a surface for more than a thousand years.

Dating Old Photographs was compiled from a number of sources, but the majority of the photographs were submitted by readers of Family Chronicle Magazine. The book then goes on to graphically show the photographs of the following eras.

The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. Not one photograph is labeled! Who are the individuals in the photographs? Are the individuals family members? Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years. Identifying individuals in the photographs is possible.

How do you get started? How did the photograph s come into your possession? The answers to these questions can narrow down which side of the family the photograph s belonged. Email and social media make it easier to contact more distant relatives. Reach out to those distant cousins.

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We all have old family photos. These may be loose or in albums or they may be in the form of postcards or even fragile black and grey glass negatives. So what about dating?

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You will not be billed for the book, nor will it show up on your invoice. However, FRPC will automatically send a copy with your order. This book on is made up of reproductions of old photographs of known date, and identity. There are over pictures with photos of virtually thousands of people covering the period from the s to the s. By comparing your unknown pictures to those in our book, you will be able to compare clothing and hair fashion, the poses adopted by the subject and the background settings.

The book provides convincing evidence that our ancestors were at least as fashion conscious as we are today and that those fashions changed just as frequently. More Dating Old Photographs has been compiled from a number of sources, but the majority of them are photographs submitted by readers of the magazine. The book begins with a page article by the Photo Detective Maureen Taylor in which she explains the technicalities and fashion styles of old photos.

She then includes sections on the following photographic subjects:

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