How to Date Old Photos

Most family historians have THAT box. The box always looks roughly the same. Not long after I took up genealogy in , I began inheriting boxes and bags like those, and they all had lots of photographs — old ones. The photographs from the latter half of the 20th century are easiest to identify. Most times, I know the subject; if not, the bell-bottoms or dark wall paneling scream As you move back in time, what gets harder to identify are the black-and-white photographs. Some have dates printed along their white borders; others have dates stamped on the back. Great-grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles can also be identified, if not on sight, then by context.

More Dating Old Photographs 1840–1929

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. The great success the magazine has enjoyed has lead to the publication of The Family Chronicle Collection and subsequent four Family Chronicle Years titled Year respectively.

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.

The history of photography began in remote antiquity with the discovery of two critical principles: camera obscura image projection and the observation that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light. There are no artifacts or descriptions that indicate any attempt to capture images with light sensitive materials prior to the 18th century with the arguable exception of a possibly photographic process used to create the mysterious shroud of Turin. Around , Johann Heinrich Schulze captured cut-out letters on a bottle of a light-sensitive slurry, but he apparently never thought of making the results durable.

Around , Thomas Wedgwood made the first reliably documented, although unsuccessful attempt at capturing camera images in permanent form. His experiments did produce detailed photograms , but Wedgwood and his associate Humphry Davy found no way to fix these images. The daguerreotype required only minutes of exposure in the camera, and produced clear, finely detailed results. The details were introduced to the world in , a date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.

Subsequent innovations made photography easier and more versatile. New materials reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds, and eventually to a small fraction of a second; new photographic media were more economical, sensitive or convenient. Since the s, the collodion process with its glass-based photographic plates combined the high quality known from the Daguerreotype with the multiple print options known from the calotype and was commonly used for decades.

History of photography

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The irrigation canal transports water more than miles into the heart of New South Wales farm country. Read MorePhotograph by Amy.

Sure, you might have a large collection of photographs to prove the veracity of their occurrence. With time, it can become easy to simply hold on to those special moments and forget all the minor details. However, if you truly want to immortalize every aspect of your special days, we do have some ways through which you can date your old photographs.

So take your box of old photos out and start dating your pictures by following the tips below, courtesy of your friendly provider of photo restoration in Houston, Tx. For example, if you find a photo of your family in a post-card format, you can easily rule out the moments occurring before Using such distinct features to your advantage can quickly help you narrow down a timeline.

Along with format, determine the size of the print image by using online guides. Prints have changed overtime so you may be able to find the right photograph size and narrow down your timeframe even more. You will find several articles on Wikipedia that deal with this subject, but take a look at the screenshot below. From here, we know that 8×10 and 16×20 color prints were introduced around image from Popular Photography. Although we do offer photo restoration services, customers seeking information on other details of photography can also utilize our assistance to date their old photographs.

Fashion is usually the best indicator when it comes to noting down the time the picture was taken. For instance, if you have any pictures from the 19th century, use the sleeve length as an indicator of time. Sleeves changed length and shape through that time so it would be easy for you to notice a common trend.

Historical Fashion Expert Helps Time Date Your Old Family Photos

Dating old photographs y. Old photo. Maureen taylor has moved here. Want help me to look on analyzing costume from amazon’s book store. A family in england, rug, dating old photographs as uncovering your tips and accessories. One of the document has moved here.

More dating old photographs, , introduction by Maureen Taylor., Toronto Public Library.

Dolores’s interest in fashion history dates from her teenage years when vintage apparel was widely available in thrift stores. Black skirts and white blouses, but without the huge puffs of the s, plus the white dress with layers of lace, place this photo in the early s. 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.

Genealogy research: Dating vintage photographs by clothing & hairstyles

Dating Old Photographs. Second Edition. Robert Pols. He’s determined that everybody shall have a portrait, from the highest to the lowest. Indeed, next Sunday he do talk of taking them for threepence-ha’penny, and if that ain’t philandery, what is?

Excellent book – arrived promptly and well packaged – good company to deal with​. The book has been very useful in my family history research. Read more. 2.

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.

See how close you can get to the date which in some cases you may be able to verify with documentation. A Crowd scene of old Hebburn with children and women and men of all ages. The costume in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion. Click on the headings below to go to full pages. The costume, jewellery and hairstyle in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion over a 5 year period.

Genealogy Sleuthing: How to Date Old Family Photos

What do you really know about the old photographs you have of your ancestors? Do you have names and dates to go with each? How sure are you of the information you do have?

Put A Date On That Old Photograph A date will sometimes help fit a photo into a family tree. Constructed by Roger Vaughan First Step: What sort of photograph.

Identifying an old photo isn’t as hard as you would think it would be. There are a few easy ways to identify old photos given how fast the photographic processes changed during the late s and early s. Here’s quick guide on How to Date Old Photos for photos from the ‘s – For more recent photos, you’ll need to rely on clues from the photo itself:. Its popularity peaked in period from , and began to wane in the following years. The process involved polishing a sheet of silver-plated copper, treating it with fumes, and exposing it to a camera to fix the image to the metal — this resulted in an image that appears to be fixed on to a mirror.

If you have a photo that is cased, has a mirror-like quality where the image changes based on the angle, and the back of it looks like it has some copper and silver elements, you have a daguerrotype, which means likely a photo. There are ways to date the images inside this range, but let’s stick to the basics for now and move on to the next type: Ambrotypes. Ambrotypes are similar to daguerrotypes in that they were often preserved in similar cases.

The difference is in the process used and how it looks. This means that the image is much crisper and appear the same from all angles.

Top 10 Resources for Dating Old Photographs

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: Dating Old Photographs Moorshead, Halvor, My only regret is that the book is not longer with more photos for each decade.

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.

Why Didn’t People Smile In Old Photographs?