How to Date Your Old Photos

How to Date Your Old Photos

A fine Victorian family group but not much use unless you have some idea of the main people in the picture. Here we appear to have a Victorian patriarch, centre front, with his wife on his right , his sons and daughters possibly with their spouses and either his mother or his mother-in-law, next to the young boy. The young men all look to be in their 30s but probably range from 20 upwards. Clothes can help identify the period in which a picture might have been taken — but not always. The stern preacher on the left is clearly dressed in the frock coat and clerical collar of the late 19th century — but he is still wearing the coat, below, 20 or more years later. This was not the case in the mid s when, even though cameras were used for family snapshots, every picture had to count on a exposure roll of film. In the century before most people did not even have the luxury of a camera and relied on special trips to the photographer for family portraits.

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View Full Version : Photographers and old photographs. Catching birds? Dating Photograph Photo date please??

Contrary to what many people think, those nostalgic old photos that a Calcutta-​born British photographer, are also fine examples of sepia.

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The Photo Detective

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.

Dating the visual image. Card-mounted photos often bear printed photographer/​studio details and we may try to date old photos from studio operational dates.

Commercial portrait photography began in the s and old family photographs can portray ancestors from the early-Victorian era onwards. Many historic photos surviving today are undated and unidentified and we can use various methods to work out their time period:. This can help, but studio data may be elusive, patchy or too broad to pinpoint a close date for a given photograph. All available evidence should be considered, but often most useful for accurate photo dating are the picture clues, especially the fashions worn by their subjects: clothes, accessories and hairstyles.

Victorian dress styles were complex, determined by age, status and location: fashion also accelerated between the s and s. Here is a brief guide to the main trends.

Dating Old Photographs

The pictures look just as they did when the photographer first admired his handiwork. That soft brown tint is the result of a chemical process that took place in the darkroom. The beautiful color probably came as a pleasant surprise to the first photographer who tried the process. Stark black and white photographs that sorely lacked emotional appeal were suddenly imbued with warmth and intensity. We have the inventor of sepia toning to thank for transforming austere, haunting images into vibrant keepsakes.

Dating old photos. A fine Victorian family group but not much use unless you have some idea of the main people in the picture. Here we appear to have a.

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 did the photograph s come into your possession?

The answers to these questions can narrow down which side of the family the photograph s belonged.

Cabinet Card

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The art of dating profile photos isn’t hard to master, and yet so many people get it wrong. Don’t use old photos, even if you look good in them.

If you’d like to tap into Maureen’s resources and years of expertise you can book a personal consultation. It’s very easy and fun as well! Maureen does consultations by telephone or video Zoom — private meetings with clients to discuss their mystery pictures. Both options are recorded. In fact, these consultations are a lot more than a conversation. These photographs chronicle a family loss in a graphic manner. Often taken as a last attempt to capture an image of a loved one.

There were photographers that specialized in the medium making the deceased as life-like as…. Read more. Fashion clues in pictures can document trends over a decade, but specific details can sometimes pinpoint an exact year or two.

Cabinet card

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The cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for photographic portraiture Photo album manufacturers responded by producing albums with pages primarily for cabinet cards with a few pages in the back reserved for the old family carte de visite prints. For nearly three decades after the s, the.

Services: books. The most common question i receive regarding old photographs. Genealogist and analysis she breathes new life into old photographs It was taken. Yes, More dating vintage photographs and any props that a hobby. Old photographs — offers tips for dating old photographs genealogy research in dating old photo. Knowing the author of old photographs new life into old photographs, and accessories.

Dating Family Photographs Using Historical Fashion Clues

Use costume history to date photos. Learn tips and hints and examples to help you to achieve a date within 5 years either way of the photo ‘s original date. This will make your genealogy research so much more meaningful to you and your family. Learn by example how to use your own detective skills to examine your photo in detail.

looking after old photos, copying them and finding out more about family photo albums. A highly useful series of charts help to indicate a date range according.

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. By way of example, your relative might have been a trendsetter… or perhaps she cared little about fashion and was always a few years behind.

Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs

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Ideally we should consider all these criteria when considering the clothing of family members as seen in old photographs. For dating purposes.

Most Real Photo Postcards, abbreviated RPPC, have information on their backs to help in identifying the manufacturer of the photographic paper that was used by the postcard publisher. If you can identify the paper manufacturer, you can approximate the age of the old postcard. If the postcard has a stamp box, click on one of stamp box links below.

If there is no stamp box, or a generic stamp box, go to Postcards Backs. All entries on one page may be slow to load. Real Photo Postcards are photographs that are reproduced by actually developing them onto photographic paper the size and weight of Postcards, with a Postcard back. There are many Postcards that reproduce photos by various printing methods that are NOT “real photos” The best way to tell the difference is to look at the Postcard with a magnifying glass.

If the photo is printed, you will see that it is made up of a lot of little dots, the same as a photo printed in a newspaper. A Real Photo Postcard is solid, no dots. Postcard paper types and descriptions from period literature and advertisements prepared by Jeremy Rowe. Hubby Martin A. Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes.

Rare Historical Photos In Color II



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