Help dating old photographs, dating and identifying your old family photographs

  1. Her full skirt and the fuller sleeves were common in the fashions of Civil War women.
  2. Time to log on to the computer!
  3. Early tintypes were commonly stored in glass-framed cases, but later ones were held in cardboard sleeves.
  4. Check for mirror images in daguerreotypes.
  5. These images may also disappear and reappear depending upon the angle at which they are viewed.
  6. Type of photograph To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J.
Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs

One thing to note, when fashions reach their most extreme they usually change dramatically to the exact opposite. Look for props in the image. If you see a plant like a palm tree that seems conspicuously out of place for the presumed time period, search online to see when that plant species was first imported into the area.

How to Date Old Photos - Daguerreotype Cabinet Card Tintype - Geneal

However, the cases were soon replaced by paper sleeves. Based on its size and composition, I confirmed that my picture was a tintype, a photographic technique that came into use in the mids and lasted until the turn of the century. The image is on a silver clad copper sheet which was then sealed inside a wooden case or a frame under glass to protect it. The key style clue here are her fancy pleated sleeve cuffs.

Online resources can help you piece together clues from different eras

Fashion & style

The plates for the tintype were typically thinner than the ambrotype glass plates, and often had rough edges. Could she have been a secret non-conformist with a hidden sense of humor? To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J.


For men, look at vests, neckties, the fit of a jacket loose or fitted and how it is buttoned. Like dress, props can be a good indicator of the time period. Like the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are in small hinged cases. They must have been handed down to the wrong descendents not me if there were any at all. But tintype photo studios were still around into the early s as a novelty.

Your email address is now confirmed. Daguerreotypes This first successful photo process is attributed to Louis Daguerre. These fellows do not appear to be taking a formal portrait. Instead of being printed on metal, though, they were printed on glass plates with a thin coat of iodized collodion, which produced a black back.

  • To protect their metal sheets, these photos were commonly enclosed in ornate wooden cases with hinges or frames under glass.
  • Sadly, the age difference doesn't help me much.
  • The photographs are all sizes.

The bodice of her dress along with the narrow sleeve is also indicative of this time period. Do you or your loved ones suspect a scam? You just need to do some investigating into the photo subjects and image composition. Photo courtesy of Steve Callahan I would date this picture about because of the huge circumference of the hat.

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How to Date Old Photos in 6 Easy to Follow Quick Steps

3 Ways to Date Old Photographs - wikiHow

The Photo Organizers

Immigrants to America who chose to be photographed, usually waited until they could afford new clothes so they could send pictures back home to proudly show they were now, real Americans. This could be a simple scanning procedure of the old prints of photographs but could result in revelation about a number of details about the time the photo was taken. The primary difference is the size. Check for a copyright date on the film negatives.

Look at dress and hairstyles in the images. Cabinet Cards The larger version of the carte-de-visite, these images were mounted on heavy card stock to keep the photos from curling. Film negatives often have a copyright from the film processor printed on them.

Type of Photograph

Another good idea which may help date old photos is to look at the vehicles and other items that surround the background of the photo. Passionate about genealogy research and helping others find resources and tools to confidently research their genealogy, Lisa can be found at LisaLisson. These can help you narrow down a timeframe for your image.

Skipping this step is tempting, but avoid that temptation! The elder is wearing a watch chain and a pinky ring. Article Info This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

In the early s, Michael would have been in his twenties and Peter in his teens and both were living in St. Look for glass plates with black backings in ambrotypes. Beards were more commonly worn by authority figures.

This is such a great article on dating old photos. You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go. Want help dating your old family photographs? Who are the individuals in the photographs? Organizing the photographs of an ancestor makes it easy to start studying the ageing process of the people present in them.

When considering photos of a woman, look for the presence and size of a bustle and also the fullness of the skirt. Some are obviously older photographs. These photos produced a mirror image, so things like writing may appear backward. It is difficult to date hats of the s because vintage photos show women wearing various shapes all through the decade.

Also, it is important to look at the packaging material of the photograph carefully, the date of issue could be found on the envelopes containing the photographs. Reach out to those distant cousins. Have you ever remembered when a photograph was taken of you based on your hairstyle or on the clothes you wore? Most likely, but if not, online dating the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years.

Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs

Many prints also included the name and location of the photography studio on the bottom of the card. Early tintypes were put under glass, but later were placed in cardboard sleeves. Mary Minnie was photographed in mid to late s. The jackets seem to indicate a photo taken in the s, man but I'm still not certain.

Understanding how to date old photos can prove quite difficult. Also, if there is any object with writing in the photo it will appear reversed. Could the photograph s be of her sisters, parents, or cousins? Examine the thickness of the glass for tintypes. So, that is when I think this photo was taken.

Historical Fashion Expert Helps Time Date Your Old Family Photos

Both websites detail the history of photography, including samples of various types of photography, such as daguerreotype, cabinet card and tintype. Early tintypes were in small, hook up electrical switch hinged cases like the daguerreotypes and the ambrotypes. The type of photograph can place your photograph in a specific time period. When was the subject born? Notice the center part with the bangs.

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