How to Date Your Old Photos

Science and Technology 5 min read. Discover how Victorian inventors and entrepreneurs succeeded in capturing the very first images. Daguerre was the first person to publicly announce a successful method of capturing images. Daguerre released his formula and anyone was free to use it without paying a licence fee — except in Britain, where he had secured a patent. Above: Black and white lithograph entitled La Daguerreotypomanie. This example has been adapted to take small rectangular images, and is fitted into a wooden box which once also contained the necessary equipment and chemicals. A daguerreotype is a single reversed image, made as a direct positive onto a silvered copper plate.

Cabinet Card

Late s cabinet card with albumen print affixed to a cardboard mount. The albumen print has the typical soft, sepia tones. Popularly used: ss, though rare examples are found that date to the early s.

He remained masked and compliant with all covid regulations at all times. We decided to get both the wet Read more. Date of experience.

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.

Dedicating a lecture or lectures to the history of photography presents students with the opportunity to consider the aesthetic, cultural, and social dimensions of art through a medium they have engaged with throughout their lives. The photography lecture is, therefore, a good place to discuss larger themes such as the relationship of an original to a copy, an image to its material support, and representation to reality.

Scope: Since the mid-nineteenth century, photography was considered an objective representation of reality, despite its limitations with regard to capturing color or movement and its capacity for manipulation. This lesson focuses on how photographers explored the possibilities of the new medium in a variety of genres including portraiture, scientific documentation, and travel photography, and ultimately as a mass medium and tool of persuasion. In an hour and fifteen minutes, these themes can be explored through many photographs , including:.

The discovery of photography was announced publicly in January at the Academy of Sciences in Paris. By the time Daguerre produced his view of a Parisian boulevard in , the exposure time had been reduced enough to capture one figure who had stopped to have his shoe shined. Why was the view from a window such a popular subject of early photographs?

How to Identify 5 Types of Old Photographs

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?

How to date Victorian family photographs how to date Edwardian family photographs how to date 19th century family photographs.

There are obviously directories elsewhere which could be consulted, so it pays to consult all available published lists of photographers, as other researchers will have had access to a different selection. There are separate surname indexes to each of the old counties of Wales including Monmouthshire. The Glamorgan index does not include Cardiff as there was already a significant published index, but eventually I hope to create my own and add it to the site.

I have retained the spelling of place names, as they appear in the directories. Directories were the equivalent of our Yellow Pages, i. It obviously took the publishers a while to collect the data, so the information was always slightly out of date. Comparing the addresses of photographers printed on cartes-de-visite or cabinet prints with the dates they appear in directories should give an approximate date of the photograph. Unfortunately some photographers stayed at the same address for many years, e.

In such cases, if you have several cartes from the same photographer, a comparison of styles of mount could help. If the backs are numbered this would be done in sequence. Printing dates are sometimes given, but most proprietors advertised that negatives were kept and copies were always available, so in one case I have a carte printed seven years after the sitter had died and an identical one printed ten years earlier.

What the sitters wore can also help date a photograph. The books by Avril Lansdell and Robert Pols are useful for this.

Victorian Photography Studio, Gettysburg: Hours, Address, Victorian Photography Studio Reviews: 5/5

National Trust curator Catherine Troiano reveals some of her tips on how to date early family photographs Images: National Trust. Later that year William Henry Fox Talbot introduced his negative-to-positive paper technique. As photography developed over the decades after its invention, so did its role in society and culture.

Photography quickly became an important part of family life; a tool for creating memories, legacies and identities. All of these photographs come from the National Trust which looks after collections across its properties. If you have Victorian or Edwardian photographs in your family album, these tips might help you date them.

The earliest identified photographs in our collection date from the early s and with tens of thousands of separate images dating from the 19th century alone. The Victoria and Albert Museum · National Monuments Record of Wales​.

Our family photos are some of our most precious family heirlooms. In this online talk Jayne Shrimpton will cover the range of Victorian photos from ambrotypes and daguerrotypes, to Cabinet cards, cartes des visites and tin-types too. Learn how to analyse the format of the photo; discover ways to trace the photographer; and begin to master the clues that can be gleaned by studying our ancestors clothing in Victorian times. The talk will be hosted on Zoom and begin at 10am on Thursday 17th September.

It will last an hour, followed by time for questions. Click here to book your place. Jayne Shrimpton is world-renowned for her photo and costume dating expertise. Jayne regularly appears in Family Tree magazine dating readers’ photos, and also undertakes private commissions too. We use cookies to improve your experience of this website by remembering your usage preferences, collecting statistics, and targeting relevant content.

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How to Identify People and Places in Old Photos Using the Internet

What people are wearing in historical photographs can offer many clues as to the earliest possible date of a portrait, group photograph, or street scene with figures. Dress details may provide additional information, such as the social status of the wearer, their occupation, and sometimes their location or region. The details need to be compared with fashionable dress of a given date, and then subtle judgments may be made, or additional data supplied through knowledge of the family tree, the photographer’s name and address, or the nature of other contributory details such as studio props.

The photos in the Archive date from the s onwards. Some of the highlights include: Country house photo albums by anonymous amateurs; Famous.

We can either copy our records onto paper or deliver them to you digitally. Visit us in Kew to see original documents or view online records for free. Consider paying for research. The National Archives holds one of the largest and most significant collections of photographs in the United Kingdom. Running into millions of individual items, these photographs have been amassed during the working lives of central government departments and cover the historical time-span of the medium itself.

This guide will help you to find individual photographs among our vast holdings, some of them in discrete collections but many scattered more haphazardly among the documents of the scores of central government departments, past and present, that commissioned and collected them. You can view and purchase high-quality copies of many thousands of our photographs through our Image Library. The Image Library is the easiest way to get a sense of the breadth and depth of what we hold but most of our photographs are not available to view online.

Photographs in the collections

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Photo Dating Children Fashions by Decade. – , Infants and Toddlers. Through , Older Kids. – Infants (12months) and toddlers.

The cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for photographic portraiture after The carte de visite was displaced by the larger cabinet card in the s. In the early s, both types of photographs were essentially the same in process and design. However, later into its popularity, other types of papers began to replace the albumen process. Despite the similarity, the cabinet card format was initially used for landscape views before it was adopted for portraiture.

Some cabinet card images from the s have the appearance of a black-and-white photograph in contrast to the distinctive sepia toning notable in the albumen print process. These photographs have a neutral image tone and were most likely produced on a matte collodion , gelatin or gelatin bromide paper. Sometimes images from this period can be identified by a greenish cast.

Hilarious Photos That Prove Victorian Times Weren’t As Serious As Everyone Thinks