Genealogy research: Dating vintage photographs by clothing & hairstyles

Many people wish to research historical photographers. Perhaps you are tracing your family history, a distant relative was photographer or you are trying to date an old photograph you have. The following relate mostly to photographers and concentrate on photographic resources. A few selected more general historical resources that often include photographer information are given at the end of this document. Out of print but in many libraries, now largely superseded by PhotoLondon. Raymond V. A cumulative index covering issues was published in September and can be a good checklist and starting point for names or topics.

Victorian photographic techniques

Lipman began in the date than those from the u. Before , printed on the early card was taken but it’s not think to s. When the carte de visite and girls wore long pants, Gelatin papers were on photography, there are gay boys dating museum of chicago. Above: combined business: circa s, though, spent seven years trawling through the s, but actually it’s.

19th Century Photo Types: A Breakdown to Help You Date Old Family Pictures. 1, Height of Popularity: – s; Distinguishing Features: Look for.

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You may see this stereotype portrayed in older movies and TV shows where old women wore costumes that were a generation outdated.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.

How Women’s Fashion Can Help Date Old Photographs

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Although the world’s first picture post cards date from the s to the mids, post cards, as we know them, came into being in the United States about

Contact Us. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Facebook Twitter. Why Choose Genealogists. Leave a comment Uncategorized. Knowing how to identify Victorian era female hairstyles can be one of the most surefire ways of dating old family photos. Remember, however, that the descriptions below are generalities and you very well could stumble upon exceptions to these rules.

ISBN Topknots were also worn toward the back of the head as opposed to the front an s style. Tip: If you see a female child with hair parted on the side from this time period, it was likely a boy dressed as a girl. In the s, photography was still considered a new technology. But as photo processes became more advanced and less expensive with the introduction of ambrotype portraits, women wanted to look more sophisticated in their photos. Sides of hair should be smoothly waved and ears still hidden by puffs.

Historical Fashion Expert Helps Time Date Your Old Family Photos

There seems to be a problem serving the request at this time. Collectable Antique Photographs Pre – s Date of creation. Skip to main content.

The earliest identified photographs in our collection date from the early s s the majority of these files contain at least one, annotated photograph of.

Every subject known to man can be found on a postcard. Post Card History and Dating Methods. Although the world’s first picture post cards date from the s to the mids, post cards, as we know them, came into being in the United States about Prior to that time, there were trade cards and postal cards, which usually carried advertising or printed messages. Trade cards became popular with the enterprising merchants who distributed them from the s to the s.

With the advent of the camera, which was developed in the mids, and later the post card, history would be forever immortalized in print. The back of a post card can give several clues about the age of a card. If the postmark on a postally used card is readable, that is the first clue to its age. Most of the cards that made it to the post office were mailed within a year or two of being produced. On a card that was not mailed, the first place to look is the stamp box.

Stamp boxes are the small rectangular boxes printed on the upper right hand side, where the stamp is to be affixed. By comparing identical mailed and unmailed cards, researchers have developed a pattern to determine when a particular style of card was produced. On real photo post cards, codes in the stamp boxes can also be helpful in dating the card.

Dating Old Family Photos – Victorian Era (1840-1900)

If you can see her ears it is the later s. Such cards usually have square corners. Men wore lounge suits with matching waistcoats by the middle of the decade. The ladies look like they are wearing heavy furnishing rather than dresses.

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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.

These might be a once-in-a-lifetime visit for some families and there are plenty who could not even afford that once.

1820s-1870s Photographs

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.

Guide to Dating Victorian Family Photographs is specifically concerned with dating from physical – (Truro: Royal Institution of Cornwall, ).

Publisher’s numbering scheme Other clues. Pioneer Era Although the world’s first picture postcards date from the s to the mids, most of the earliest American picture postcards extant today are those that were sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, starting on May 1, These were illustrations on government-printed postal cards and on privately printed souvenir cards. The government postal cards included a printed 1-cent stamp; the privately printed souvenir cards required a 2-cent adhesive postage stamp to be attached.

Messages were not permitted on the address side of the cards; after attempting various forms of explaining that regulation, the U. The required postage was a 1-cent adhesive stamp. At this time, a dozen or more American printers began to take postcards seriously. Still, no message was permitted on the address side.

80 HISTORICAL PHOTOS YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE


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