Collecting Tintypes: 19th c. Antique Vintage Victorian Old Photographs

Date antique photographs by the presence of a tax stamps. Learn more about tax stamps and when they were used to narrow the time frame of that photo. In your family history research, have you found old unidentified antique photographs in your collection? Are they daguerreotypes? Cartes des visites? But knowing who is in that photograph is another story. You must take time to learn about antique photographs and their distinguishing characteristics before you can start dating antique photographs and figuring out who is in that photo. Tax stamps are unique to the later years of the Civil War time period. We will explore below how to use their presence to narrow down the date of a photograph to a narrow time period.

Family Tree

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? Photography started in but at that time was really in the hands of a few scientists, professionals or wealthy amateurs.

This is why most of the early photographs are portraits: the main business of These processes included the daguerreotype, the ambrotype, and the tintype, DATE: It is possible to date early photographs based on a variety of clues and.

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.

Here at The National Archives, we have teams who specialise in both areas and in this blog, Visual Collections Researcher Katherine Howells and Conservator of photographs and paper Ioannis Vasallos share their tips. You can also look out for handwritten notes on the back of the photograph such as names, events or locations. Look also at sleeves — is there a puff at the shoulder?

And hairstyles — consider the parting, fringe and accessories. There are plenty of online resources on the history of fashion which can assist you in identifying the different elements. The presence of an individual in uniform can make the process of dating the photograph easier. This is the case for photographs taken in the 20th century, when uniforms become more standardised. However, for earlier photographs, uniforms can sometimes add to the mystery. These seemingly small details may provide a vital clue that draws your research together!

Sitting down with somebody and giving them time to reminisce over a photograph may be the most fruitful thing you can do. Ask them if they recognise faces, fashions or locations depicted in the photograph.

Types of Photograph

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 NMAH Photo History Collection (PHC) has over tintype photographs dating from the beginnings of the process in to the present. ‘Tintype’ was.

This Website was paid for by – Auer Endowment -. Subscribe to RSS. Go Back. The tintype was a variation of the ambrotype, but instead of a glass plate, a thin sheet of iron ferro was used. This inexpensive sheet of iron proved to be less fragile than either the ambrotype or daguerreotype. And, just so you know, I have no idea who any of the people are in the images.

How to Identify an Old Tintype Photo

This site, like many others, uses cookies. See more details here. YES: I agree to the use of cookies. NO: I do not agree. Links to Other Pages. Early Photographic Processes.

Look for photographer stamps showing the date of production. processes from 19th century are daguerreotype, ambrotype, tintype, cabinet.

The treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. The reader assumes responsibility for any application results or interpretation of information. Main Period of Use: Throughout the 19th century. Very popular with street photographers, particularly during the American Civil War. Historic Practioners: The process was commonly used by portraitists and street photographers.

Shadows are the varnished support. Tintypes commonly show low contrast. Color: Monochrome may have applied color. Support: Tin metal plate. Analysis: Earlier tintypes may be housed in cases, similar to that of an ambrotype or daguerreotype. In these cases, to distinguish from an ambrotype a magnet may be used for a quick identification of the support. Later tintypes were commonly pasted onto paper cards, often surrounded by decorative borders.

The plate was attached with gummed paper that was attached to the back of the plate and the paper window mat.

Developing skills for identifying vintage photos

Tintype photo of two Victorian women posing under an “arched column” – great photo prop. Some creasing and general wear. Image is good. Tintype photo of a baby with a hidden mother awkwardly posed to the side under a striped blanket.

Dated and Canceled Revenue Stamp found on reverse of Civil War era tintype photograph. The photographer would mark or date it, this.

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. I was told by an elderly relative that the man seated on the right is Sir Richard Burton, the English explorer who was stationed in India early in his career. A: The ultimate question is determining value here is whether this is really Sir Richard Francis Burton. In addition to being an English explorer, Sir Richard Burton was also a soldier, author and linguist.

How to date family photographs

These direct image formats are unique, developed directly onto support material with no separate negative. Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are often enclosed in a hinged case behind glass; tintypes were sometimes placed in thin folding cases. Consider the use of facsimiles instead. The duration of an exhibit should be determined in advance, and no item should be placed on display permanently. Most items should not be displayed for longer than 3 to 4 months, assuming other conditions such as light levels, temperature, and relative humidity are within acceptable ranges.

Dates: – s; Surface Sheen: Highly polished, mirror-like silver Never remove a daguerreotype from its case before consulting a photo conservator.

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. Civil War Period: – Tintypes of this time are primarily on–sixth Plate and one-fourth plate and are often datable by the Potter’s Patent paper holders, adoned with patriotic stars and emblems, that were introduced during the period.

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. They “created a sensation among the ferrotypists throughout the country, and the pictures made on the chocolate-tinted surface soon became all the rage,” according to Edward M.

Estabrooke During this period “rustic” photography also made its debut with its pastoral backgrounds, fake stones, wood fences and rural props. Neither the chocolate tint nor the rustic look are found in pre tintypes. They Were popularized under the trade name Gem, and the Gem Galleries offered the tiny likenesses at what has proved to be the lowest prices in studio history.

How to Date Old Ancestor Photographs with Early Photo Types

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Feb 7, – Old family photographs hold lots of clues for genealogy researchers. Use these tips to help date photographs and unlock the stories they tell.

Descriptive Summary. Administrative Information. Publication Rights. Preferred Citation. Scope and Content. Project Information. Search OAC. What is OAC? Collection Title:. Online items available.

Making a Tintype


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