Colin Harding provides some expert advice on how to unlock their secrets. Frustratingly, old family photographs often come without any accompanying documentation so it can be very difficult to identify their age. Old photographs are full of clues that can help you to do this, such as clothes or hairstyles, and we have a list of useful contacts and resources that may be able to help you date your photographs by fashion. Portrait of a woman, c. One way to do this is to consider the methods used to create photographs.
How to Date Your Old Photos
Ambrotype - Wikipedia
Early image on a thin iron plate resembling tin. By far the most common of the three for sports subjects. Early mage on a silver-coated copper plate. The rarest and most valuable for sports subjects.
Is My Image a Tintype?
Looking at these images from our vantage point in the 21st century, we can note with fascination how average people in the second half of the 19th century actually looked and dressed. Before the development of photography, we could typically only observe the past in painted portraits, which depicted mostly upper middle-class and wealthy members of the populace. Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes were the first three early photographic processes to gain widespread popularity. Developed in the mid-to-late 19th century, each successive technique improved upon the others in availability, affordability, and processing speed. Despite these improvements, each process produced a unique, one-of-a kind image—the only one!
Last week I began a series of posts showing you how to date your old family photographs using format and process , by looking at daguerreotypes , the very first commercial photographic process. Boy wearing a top hat, c. About the collodion positive process The collodion positive, or ambrotype, first appeared in about