Identifying Old Photographs: How to Do It and How It Can Help Your Research

Identifying Old Photographs: How to Do It and How It Can Help Your Research

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you agree to our cookie policy. Welcome to the fifth in our series of blogs about how to understand and interpret your old family photos. In this series, Jayne Shrimpton, internationally recognised dress historian, portrait specialist, photo detective and regular contributor to Family Tree, Your Family History and Family History Monthly magazines, dates and analyses different types of photographs and helps you to add context to your old family pictures. Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs. In any kind of portrait it is often the subject’s clothing that engages us most: fashion history is a fascinating topic and recognising the modes of different eras is an invaluable tool when trying to date unlabelled photographs. Dress is a vast and complex subject, but here are some pointers to help with understanding, identifying and dating the clothing styles of those family members from the past who stood before the camera in their ‘Sunday best’.

How to date family photographs

This category includes processes that date from the 19th century. Some lasted into the 20th century, some into the 21st; others were extinct within a decade. The following 39 pages are in this category, out of 39 total. This list may not reflect recent changes learn more.

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Dolores’s interest in fashion history dates from her teenage years when vintage apparel was widely available in thrift stores. Trying to identify ancestors while looking at old photographs can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have one of those families where the same face reappears every generation or so. One method is to study what kind of clothing a subject is wearing in a portrait. This is easiest if the subject is female as women’s fashions change more quickly than for men. In general, old photos of family members were posed and often taken by professional photographers.

Even when people began to use their own cameras, subjects were often posed. People dressed their best for these portraits in new, fashionable garments. Pictures of younger women typically show contemporary style trends. Older women often stick to older styles. You may see this stereotype portrayed in older movies and TV shows where old women wore costumes that were a generation outdated. If the subject of your picture lived in a city, clothing style will better reflect the style of the day than if she lived in a rural area.

People on the higher end of the economic spectrum also appear more fashionable than the less well off. That is not to say that all older, rural, or lower class people were way behind the time. Sometimes the lag was only a few years.

Dating Old Photographs

Students back Alumni Current. The collection includes designs, lithographs, ephemera, and more. After Columbus: Four-hundred Years of Native American Portraiture prints and drawings, dating from to the s; gelatin silver and platinum prints by photographers Edward S. Curtis, Karl E. Moon, and Frank A.

An unsmiling group of men, 19th century Americans it seemed, were playing Look for photographer stamps showing the date of production.

I have an old photograph. According to the name on the back, it is my great grandfather, Samuel Frost Insider. Today I learned how to date the photograph. We usually think of identifying photographs using clues in the photograph: clothes, personal style, studio setting, and props. Clark said that other characteristics need to be considered as well. You should determine whether the photograph is a daguerreotype, ambrotype, or tintype. Also consider the size.

The photograph packaging provides additional clues. Packaging may include case, plate, mat, glass, and preserver. I appreciated everything I learned except for one thing.

Nineteenth-Century Photography

You might begin class with a discussion that bridges a review of Romanticism with the introduction of photography. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Background readings might include the textbook, selected thematic essays from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or Victoria and Albert Museum websites, or this Smarthistory article. Additionally, the Victoria and Albert Museum provides an excellent guide to photographic techniques.

Videos are a good way of demonstrating the difficulties of early photographic processes as well as explaining their later industrialization. The British Museum has a demonstration of the calotype , and the Getty has good videos for both the daguerreotype and the wet collodion process that could be watched in class or assigned along with the readings above.

Use these clues to date old photographs of women. Fashion changes A pigeon fronted S-shaped profile dominated the turn of the century.

Or even for sale on eBay. Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visites now commonly called cdvs , and cabinet cards. Changing photo production processes, the history of photo studios and prominent photographers in Newark and elsewhere; Gary Saretzky knows it all. In addition to the sheer aesthetic pleasure of closely viewing each type of portrait photograph and beginning to learn how to date them, participants learned something of their historical context.

The goods ranged from perfumes and cosmetics to cigar lights, wax tapers, playing cards and photographs, namely ambrotypes, cdvs, tintypes, and daguerreotypes. The practice lasted for almost two years from to , so the presence of a stamp helps greatly in dating photos from that time period. Gary provided a bibliography of relevant publications and websites.

Participants could also handle and personally examine samples of these small treasures, making this fascinating and informative workshop truly hands-on. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

How Women’s Fashion Can Help Date Old Photographs

Sure, you might have a large collection of photographs to prove the veracity of their occurrence. With time, it can become easy to simply hold on to those special moments and forget all the minor details. However, if you truly want to immortalize every aspect of your special days, we do have some ways through which you can date your old photographs. So take your box of old photos out and start dating your pictures by following the tips below, courtesy of your friendly provider of photo restoration in Houston, Tx.

For example, if you find a photo of your family in a post-card format, you can easily rule out the moments occurring before

A MARAC Newark Half-Day Workshop, Instructor: Gary Saretzky, Monmouth County Archives Blogger: Barbara Gombach, student.

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ISBN 13: 9780983578550

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Helps for Dating Nineteenth Century Photos. Are you lucky enough to have really old family photos floating around? These treasures of your.

One of the most available, most misunderstood and certainly the most misidentified of all antiques are photographs. It would be difficult to find an antique dealer who has not at one time or another bought and sold 19th century photographs, yet, the average dealer would be hard pressed to correctly identify or date the different types of photographic images they routinely encounter. This exploded view of the anatomy of a photographic case shows the various levels of the image side of the case.

All images courtesy Dr. Anthony J. I bought my first 19th century photograph in on a farm in Pennsylvania, out of a barn that housed ducks and doubled as an antique shop. I was fascinated by the idea that antique images were a small window into the past; I have collected photographs ever since. To fund this newly acquired habit I would scour our New York City neighborhood with my red wagon and collect discarded furniture, glassware, artwork, and textiles, which I sold on the weekends at the 26th Street Flea Market in Manhattan.

I used the profits to subsidize my photograph collecting and purchased photographs each week from other dealers at the flea market who routinely saved images for me beneath their tables; I was the photograph boy. Soon I was buying photographs at auctions where they were usually sold as box lots with often more than one-hundred in a lot; the Pine Bush Grange Hall was my favorite source.

Tips on Dating Old Photographs

Hats from Provides vintage photograph restoration, books, and photo dating tips to genealogists and historians. If you have a box of unlabeled photographs in your basement or attic, you aren’t alone. Most families pass down photos that aren’t labeled, and it takes a

Apr 14, – Dating 19th-Century Photographs Andrew J. Morris explains the technicalities and fashion styles of old photographs. By identifiying the technical.

We are still dispatching all items as quickly as possible. Description Imported from USA. Full description not available. Reviews Cliente Amazon. Read more Incredibly helpful in dating my photographs. I have a huge collection on family photographs, including many very early photo. I’ve always had trouble dating them as images like tintypes and cabinet cards were used over a long period of time.

Some photographs have cryptic notations such as Grandma Burnham.

How to Date Old Photographs


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