riley maclean photography

Please read thoroughly before your session. A tintype is a photograph created with the wet-plate collodion process which dates back to Historically made on tin, which has been black japanned, most tintypes that are made in present day are actually aluminum. The plate is then placed in a tank with a silver nitrate solution to become sensitive to light. Once it has become sensitized, and while the plate is still wet, it is exposed to light, either natural or artificial. Then the plate is brought back into the red light safe dark room to be developed and processed immediately. After development has been stopped the plate can be brought out into the light. It is placed in a solution that fixes the image and makes the image appear as a direct positive. After each plate is washed and dried, it is coated with a protective layer of varnish and ready to send off to its new home. While the process is fairly lengthy in comparison to modern photography, each image taking minutes to create, and a one-shot deal, the results are awe inspiring and well worth the wait.

Photo Detective: All About Tintypes

AARP Rewards is here to make your next steps easy, rewarding and fun! Learn more. Two young men stare out at me from a small old photograph. On the back, in my grandmother’s handwriting, is written “Grandpa King’s brothers. At least I’ve got some information to work with, but I’m eager to learn more: When was the picture taken? Which two of my great-grandfather’s brothers are these?

Except for microscopic examination, only the poser’s clothing (i.e. fashion) will give a clue to an approximate date. Tintypes produced in the s have black.

This Website was paid for by – Auer Endowment -. Subscribe to RSS. Go Back. The tintype was a variation of the ambrotype, but instead of a glass plate, a thin sheet of iron ferro was used. This inexpensive sheet of iron proved to be less fragile than either the ambrotype or daguerreotype. And, just so you know, I have no idea who any of the people are in the images.

The most we can hope for is to establish approximate dates for our tintypes. Before we begin our examination of our tintypes, remember that we have the patent date of as a starting point. The height of their popularity was between and , but tintypes continued to be used long after the s.


A tintype , also known as a melainotype or ferrotype , is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the s and s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century and it has been revived as a novelty and fine art form in the 21st.

Tintype portraits were at first usually made in a formal photographic studio, like daguerreotypes and other early types of photographs, but later they were most commonly made by photographers working in booths or the open air at fairs and carnivals , as well as by itinerant sidewalk photographers. Because the lacquered iron support there is no actual tin used was resilient and did not need drying, a tintype could be developed and fixed and handed to the customer only a few minutes after the picture had been taken.

The tintype photograph saw more uses and captured a wider variety of settings and subjects than any other photographic type.

Offered is an antique tintype photo of four younger women dated on the back side. They are wearing Victorian dresses and fashion of the time period. The.

Being able to determine the approximate date and time of photographs may confirm existing research or lead you to discover new ancestors in your family tree. Betty has selected a handful of beautiful photos submitted by our community members and has provided her insights below to help color in the story of their ancestors.

I would date this picture about because of the huge circumference of the hat. One thing to note, when fashions reach their most extreme they usually change dramatically to the exact opposite. In , triangular shaped hoops had replaced the bird-cage shaped hoop skirts of the Civil War Era. For little girls, long pantaloons were out of style, replaced by loose drawers which showed an inch or so under their skirts.

So, that is when I think this photo was taken. The key style clue here are her fancy pleated sleeve cuffs.

Be an Old Family Photo Detective

The Mirror of Race website provides basic information about each of the images displayed in its on-line exhibition. This information is fairly standard in any art-historical scholarship, but those new to this topic may want some further explanation of the terms. MAKER: Each images had its maker, of course, but it is worth keeping several things in mind about this.

First of all, the early forms of photographic process the daguerreotype, the ambrotype, the tintype and the albumen print, to name the most common ones were very difficult to learn and perform, expensive in terms of their equipment and apparatus, and sometimes very dangerous for example, developing a daguerreotype requires heating up mercury until it gives off fumes, and the wet-plate processes include chemicals that can — and often did — explode if improperly handled.

These processes included the daguerreotype, the ambrotype, and the tintype, DATE: It is possible to date early photographs based on a variety of clues and Clothing style: Fashions in the nineteenth century went through their cycles, just.

Join the Because of Her Story community. You’ll get the latest news, updates and more delivered directly to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up for email, you accept our privacy statement. Skip to main content. There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page. International media Interoperability Framework.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and media viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. Visit the IIIF page to learn more.

How to Date an Old Photograph

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

Dating a Tintype: There are several ways to date a tintype photograph. The most common way to figure out the time frame would be by the type of clothing the.

The tintype is one of the ubiquitous forms of photography which has for the most part recorded the existence of the common person. A process first introduced in the mids, it is still in occasional use today. These collodion and later gelatin-based images on thin, blackened, iron sheets were customarily sent through the mail to sweethearts and family. Though popularly called “tintypes” they were never made on tin. This paper reviews the fascinating history of tintypes, and describes how to identify them.

The author also dispels some persistent myths about this “humble” process and describes its circumstance in western Canada.

How to date family photographs

Print Reply. Read times. Attached is a tintype of one of my many Irish ancestors who immigrated from various counties in Ireland to Manhattan and Brooklyn in the s, 50s, 60s. Can anyone date this tintype, judging by his hair, clothing, photo style, or anything else?

Shop for-and learn about-Antique Tintype Photographs. Tintype is the Martha Topping Photo Album dating help Prt 3: Metal Photos/Tintypes? themuse2 years​.

Example of a tintype presented in a case. When were they introduced? They were patented by Hamilton L. Smith of Gambier, Ohio in and quickly became a popular photographic format. Early tintypes were often presented in cases to resemble the more fragile daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. While daguerreotypes and ambrotypes needed the protection provided by cases, tintypes were far more durable. Example of a later tintype from the s How long were they made?

They became popular during the Civil War because they were cheaper and lighter weight than daguerreotypes and ambrotypes.

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