Dating old pictures

Tips for dating old photograhs

dating old pictures

ers to send their undated pictures to us for a feature where we would explain some of the techniques we use to date old photographs. We offered to date up to . Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs. Share Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept. You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the.

The first photographs on paper. A two step process. The first step was to make a negative image on a light sensitive paper.

Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs | The Photo Organizers

Step two was to make a contact [print] with a second sheet of sensitized paper to make a positive print. Calotypes were never widely popular, and most of those surviving are in museums. Apparently Talbot the inventor did not fully realize the importance of washing his prints long enough to remove all the residual chemicals, or perhaps his fixing was inadequate.

Either fault leads to the same result: These defects are now noticeable in many calotypes, some of which are today little more than pale yellow ghosts. Similar to daguerreotype in assembly of parts: It was common for the ambrotype to be colored. Suggestions of rouge cheeks or lips suggested a person of substance.

Buttons, watch chains, pendants, broaches were often tinted with color. A very slow up to 20 sec.

dating old pictures

The glass was very fragile. It couldn't withstand travel or being carried in a locket as a daguerreotype could.

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Advantage of the Ambrotypes: It could be sold profitably at a low price, approx. The cost of the ambrotype was less than half of the daguerreotype.

Dating Old Photographs

II "The penny picture that elected a president". Price- sold for a penny or less, making photography universally available. The cost of an image at the time the process became obsolete was about 25 cents. Lighter and less costly to manufacture. Camera was lighter and easier to handle. Wouldn't shatter as a glass image photo would. Could be colored or tinted. As the public sought lower prices, the cases which cost more than the finished photographs were eliminated.

In their place, paper folders of the size of the then popular card photographs were used for protection. Instead of a glass cover, the photographer covered the tintype with a quick varnish to protect any tints or colors added to cheeks, lips, jewelry or buttons. The tintype was very popular during the Civil War because every soldier wanted to send a picture of himself with his rifle and sword home.

They could be mailed home safely without fear of shattering. The tintype actually does not contain any tin, but is made of thin black iron.

It is sometimes confused with ambrotypes and daguerreotypes, but is easily distinguishable from them by the fact that a tintype attracts a small magnet. The earliest tintypes were on heavy metal 0. They are stamped "Neff's Melainotype Pat 19 Feb 56" along one edge. Many are found in gilt frames or in the leather or plastic thermomolded cases of the earliest ambrotypes.

Size range from one- sixth plate to full plate. Civil War Period - Tintypes of this time are primarily one- sixth and one- fourth plate and are often datable by the Potter's Patent paper holders, adorned with patriotic stars and emblems, that were introduced during the period. After the paper holders were embossed rather than printed.

Uncased tintypes have been found with canceled tax stamps adhered to the backs. Brown Period - In the Phoenix Plate Co. They created a sensation among the photographers throughout the country, and the pictures made on the chocolate- tinted surface soon became the rage.

During this period "rustic" photography also made its debut with its painted backgrounds, fake stones, wood fences and rural props. Neither the chocolate tint nor the rustic look are to be found in pre tintypes. Gem Period - They were popularized under the trade name Gem and the Gem Galleries offered the tiny likeness at what proved to be the lowest prices in studio history.

Gem Galleries flourished until aboutat which time the invention of roll film and family cameras made possible larger images at modest cost. It was no longer necessary to visit a studio that specialized in the tiny likeness. Gem portraits were commonly stored in special albums with provision for a single portrait per page. Slightly larger versions also existed.

Some Gems were cut to fit lockets, cufflinks, tie pins, rings and even garter clasps. Characteristics of the photograph itself provide clues to its age. What to do when you don't know who that ancestor is in your old photo areyoumycousin Click To Tweet Type of Photograph The type of photograph can place your photograph in a specific time period. If you know the time period a photograph was taken, you can narrow down possible candidates on your family tree.

The photographic process makes the photographs appear to float. Instead of glass, the image was on an iron plate. Early tintypes were in small, hinged cases like the daguerreotypes and the ambrotypes.

dating old pictures

However, the cases were soon replaced by paper sleeves. The carte de visite gained popularity quickly during the Civil War as soldiers and family exchanged photographs. Like the CDV, the cabinet card was also an albumen print on thin paper and mounted on thicker paper. The primary difference is the size. The cabinet card reached its peak popularity in the s but was used into the early s.

Personal Collection of Lisa Lisson Hair Styles and Fashions Have you ever remembered when a photograph was taken of you based on your hairstyle or on the clothes you wore?

Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs

Narrowing the date range a photograph was taken will narrow down the potential candidates the people can be. The photograph below the cabinet card from above dates to the early s. This photograph of Mary Elizabeth Scott below was taken in the early — mids. Notice the center part with the bangs.

Her hair is pulled into a bun in the back. The bodice of her dress along with the narrow sleeve is also indicative of this time period. She wears a typical hairstyle of the day with a middle part and the hair styled over the ears. Her full skirt and the fuller sleeves were common in the fashions of Civil War women. Where do you find examples of hairstyles and fashions from different time periods? You can find samples of photographs in a variety of places including: Use hairstyles and clothing to identify ancestors in old photos.