Developing skills for identifying vintage photos

Although not exactly like pictures we encounter today, tintype photographs set the stage for photography in our era. Tintypes began in when an Ohio chemistry professor Hamilton Smith patented the tintype image. Before tintypes existed, the two main types of photographic images, the daguerreotype and the ambrotype, were created by treating glass with light sensitive collodin. The process to create these images was expensive and difficult. When tintypes became available commercially, photographers were easily swayed by the durability, inexpensiveness, and easier emulsion process of the tintype which led to the downfall of images on glass. Tintype images are taken on iron plates which are treated with an enamel to prevent rusting. Earlier tintypes are noted to be treated with a black enamel while later ones were treated with a brown enamel. When taking the image, no flash or click of a button was involved. The cap of the camera was removed and the person sat still in front of the camera while the treated iron plate captured a very underexposed dark image.

Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs

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: Dating Old Photographs (): Chronicle, Family: Other book titles include the enormously popular Dating Old Photographs Cased Images & Tintypes KwikGuide: A Guide to Identifying and Dating.

A tintype , also known as a melainotype or ferrotype , is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the s and s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century and it has been revived as a novelty and fine art form in the 21st.

Tintype portraits were at first usually made in a formal photographic studio, like daguerreotypes and other early types of photographs, but later they were most commonly made by photographers working in booths or the open air at fairs and carnivals , as well as by itinerant sidewalk photographers. Because the lacquered iron support there is no actual tin used was resilient and did not need drying, a tintype could be developed and fixed and handed to the customer only a few minutes after the picture had been taken.

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 itinerant photographers working out of covered wagons.

It began losing artistic and commercial ground to higher quality albumen prints on paper in the mids, yet survived for well over another 40 years, living mostly as a carnival novelty. The tintype’s immediate predecessor, the ambrotype , was done by the same process of using a sheet of glass as the support.

Dating/Preserving Old Photos

The term “case photograph” describes three types of 19th-century photographs that were generally kept in cases which were both decorative and protective. They are the daguerreotype , named after its inventor L. Daguerre; the ambrotype; and the tintype or ferrotype. Daguerreotypes were introduced in in Paris, France, constituting for some photo-historians the beginning of photography. Ambrotypes and tintypes, made by the wet collodion process, originated in the s. Daguerreotypes continued to be made into the s.

Each one of your family photographs tells a story, and each one of your family A tintype is a photograph created on a thin sheet of metal. Tintypes I have a family history dating back to the ‘s in England and France.

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Ambrotypes & Tintypes

When photographs are passed down through generations of families, sometimes the stories of the people in the images become fragmented or lost. If you find yourself with a collection of photographs that lack contextual information, there are a number of clues you can look out for. The most effective way to date photographs is to combine historical analysis with knowledge of different photography techniques and materials through time.

Shop for-and learn about-Antique Tintype Photographs. Tintype is the Martha Topping Photo Album dating help Prt 3: Metal Photos/Tintypes? themuse2 years​.

Here are several sites that can help you put your aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on the right branches of your family tree. Here are some places where you can pick up a few style cues to help you ID your own vintage family photographs! Wikipedia The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia provides a nicely detailed collection of articles about the many eras of clothing fashion.

Here are direct links to the sections dedicated to the time since photography was possible: s s s s s s s s s s — — s. Flickr collections by era These contributed photographs are grouped by decade, and the multitude of images will provide you with a helpful frame of reference to compare your vintage photos. Topics include evening attire, fashion accessories and even bathing costumes and undergarments. Vintage hairstyles A look at how women wore their hair in eras past, illustrated with photos of modern recreations.

Also see some sketches of vintage hairstyles here. If I needed more data points, other style cues I could research would be the fit of the dresses, the hairstyles, and their jewelry.

Types of Photograph

The photographs are all sizes. Some are obviously older photographs. 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. Who owned the photograph s before you?

A tintype is a wetplate photo process dating back to the Civil War era. Historically made on enamel-coated tin (or iron), the modern day tintype starts out on a.

Introduction : In this article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak shows how you can date old, undated family photos by first figuring out what type of photograph they are, and uses old newspapers and other sources to illustrate different types of photos. Mary is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. Do you have a box of old, undated family photos somewhere up in the attic—or maybe buried in the back of some closet?

Have you wondered how you were ever going to figure out who these family members might be, since the old photographs lack inscriptions or dates? Genealogy is a lot like detective work, gathering clues to make the pieces of your family puzzle fit together. Old, undated family photographs are pieces of evidence, clues that—if you examine closely enough—might yield some answers. By knowing a little of the history of photography, you might be able to solve the mystery of those old photos by first recognizing what type of photograph they are—which in turn will help you narrow down the date range for when the photo was created.

This blog article will help you do that. Evening Star Washington, D. It was created with a camera obscura, a device used by artists to project images on a wall or screen.

Tintype is nobody famous so its value is limited

The Mirror of Race website provides basic information about each of the images displayed in its on-line exhibition. This information is fairly standard in any art-historical scholarship, but those new to this topic may want some further explanation of the terms. MAKER: Each images had its maker, of course, but it is worth keeping several things in mind about this.

It should be kept in an acid- and lignin-free envelope for storage. Dating the Image Created with a process patented in , tintypes remained popular into the.

It’s best to search for ancestors by entering one term in the search box below such as surname, a city or town, a county, a state, a country or a keyword such as England, Civil War, CDV, Minnesota, Pennsylvania etc. Pearce’s Algonquin Bon Ton Tent. Collection of author. A wonderful early advertising piece for the traveling photographer tent of W. Cheney tintype photo below. This appears to have been written in the ‘s, probably by a daughter or son, or other family member of Mary’s.

For us, it was a happy occurrence to find a tintype so clearly and steadfastly marked! Tintype Origins: The advent of the tintype photograph in the ‘s brought photography to the working classes.

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This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Q: While cleaning out an old farmhouse in the Lucknow, Ont. It’s only about 10 by six centimetres four by 2.

Q: While cleaning out an old farmhouse in the Lucknow, Ont. area I found a large box of tintypes and 19th century photographs, including this.

This site, like many others, uses cookies. See more details here. YES: I agree to the use of cookies. NO: I do not agree. Sizes of Photographs. Enlargements were not a feature of early photographic processes. The size of the final photo was the same as that of the negative or photographic plate. Ambrotypes and Tintypes Ambrotypes and Tintypes would usually be a fraction of a whole-plate glass size.

I don’t know why. Half-plate and whole plate sizes for glass plates are the appropriate proportions of whole-plate. The smaller tintype photos that I have seen are.

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Being able to easily identify the approximate date of an old photograph is A tintype is, as the name suggests, a photo printed on a piece of tin.

Marcel Safier, Brisbane, Australia. In terms of quantity, the gem was the most prolifically produced form of photograph in the s in America. Aside from the speed of its production, the gem was also inexpensive and its small size made it suitable for mounting in jewellery such as lockets and broaches. Like daguerreotypes and ambrotypes before it, hand colouring was also possible and rouging of the subject’s cheeks was the most common form of this. This enabled the image to be mounted in carte de visite albums although small albums specifically designed to fit one, two, four or six gems to the page directly were also produced.

Unmounted gems usually sold from 10 cents per dozen and around 50 cents per dozen with mounts 1. Similarly mounts were also developed so that ninth plate and sixth plate tintypes usually slightly trimmed on the sides could also be placed in carte de visite albums. Quarter plate tintypes were also offered in paper mounts, but they were easily damaged so not many have survived. Like regular cartes de visite, the tintype carte and even unmounted tintypes produced in the United States were required to carry a tax stamp between which can assist in dating of these photographs.

Origins of the gem tintype Although the tintype itself was introduced around 2 , the earliest gem would appear to date from and its production would have been dependent on the use of a multiplying camera. Such a camera was produced by Roberts of Boston around 3.

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