The term “case photograph” describes three types of 19th-century photographs that were generally kept in cases which were both decorative and protective. They are the daguerreotype , named after its inventor L. Daguerre; the ambrotype; and the tintype or ferrotype. Daguerreotypes were introduced in in Paris, France, constituting for some photo-historians the beginning of photography. Ambrotypes and tintypes, made by the wet collodion process, originated in the s. Daguerreotypes continued to be made into the s. Ambrotypes were made for a little while longer. Tintypes survived into the 20th century in modified form as a type of instant portrait photograph. The mention in one breath of these three types of case photographs does not suggest that they have similar properties.
Antique Ambrotype Photographs
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When an individual visited a photo studio in the late s, he could choose the style of portrait—shiny reflective daguerreotype, glass ambrotype, metal tintype.
This month, I decided to highlight ambrotypes and daguerreotypes since it is the th anniversary of the invention of the daguerreotype which revolutionized the history of photography. A recent donation A The image shows a busy street, but because the exposure had to continue for several minutes the moving traffic is not visible. At the lower right, however, a man apparently having his boots polished, and the person polishing them, were motionless enough for their images to be captured.
Daguerreotypes were created on a reflective mirror surface made on silver-plated copper, exposed to mercury then chemically treated to create an image that appears positive or negative depending on how you view the photograph. Daguerreotypes are easily recognized by their mirror-like surface, and a magnet can be used to distinguish tintypes from ambrotypes. Colonel Donald Macpherson Sr. The donation of ambrotypes A What is unique about these ambrotypes is the family connection to the Weese family.
But sometimes those pictures are not properly identified, which greatly limits their value both as historical objects and as family mementos. One step that goes a long way towards properly identifying a photograph is to establish the date, at least approximately, when it was taken. The name originally spelled Wees means orphan or child needing care.
In Canada the original founder of the [Weese] family signed his name John Wees. He is on army lists as Wist, Wuist and West.
Vintage Photo Characteristics That Can Help You Date Old Pictures
Like a print on paper, it is viewed by reflected light. Like the daguerreotype , which it replaced, and like the prints produced by a Polaroid camera , each is a unique original that could only be duplicated by using a camera to copy it. The ambrotype was introduced in the s. During the s it was superseded by the tintype , a similar photograph on thin black-lacquered iron, hard to distinguish from an ambrotype if under glass.
One side of a clean glass plate was coated with a thin layer of iodized collodion , then dipped in a silver nitrate solution.
: Cased Images & Tintypes KwikGuide: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes (): Clark.
Introduction : In this article, Mary Harrell-Sesniak shows how you can date old, undated family photos by first figuring out what type of photograph they are, and uses old newspapers and other sources to illustrate different types of photos. Mary is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. Do you have a box of old, undated family photos somewhere up in the attic—or maybe buried in the back of some closet?
Have you wondered how you were ever going to figure out who these family members might be, since the old photographs lack inscriptions or dates? Genealogy is a lot like detective work, gathering clues to make the pieces of your family puzzle fit together. Old, undated family photographs are pieces of evidence, clues that—if you examine closely enough—might yield some answers. By knowing a little of the history of photography, you might be able to solve the mystery of those old photos by first recognizing what type of photograph they are—which in turn will help you narrow down the date range for when the photo was created.
This blog article will help you do that. Evening Star Washington, D. It was created with a camera obscura, a device used by artists to project images on a wall or screen. After a long eight-hour exposure time, the image became affixed. Perhaps your family pictures are identified—but in all likelihood many are not, so narrowing time periods for the creation of each photo is important in trying to date them.
Some of my earlier GenealogyBank Blog posts provided other tips for dating undated photographs, including one showing how historical newspapers can assist greatly with photo dating by comparing the clothing of people in your undated photos to clothing styles shown in old newspaper advertisements. See a list with links to these photography-related blog posts at the end of this article.
Is My Image an Ambrotype?
As soon as someone shows me a picture in a case. There is a lot of confusion over the types of images found in nineteenth century cases. It all depends on what type of picture your ancestor requested as well as where they lived and when.
Photo Exhibit Home Timeline Daguerreotypes Ambrotypes & Tintypes Iconic different elements of a daguerreotype provide clues that can help date an image.
The Daguerreotype was the first practical expert and proved popular with the photo. It was replaced by the cheaper Ambrotype, which was replaced in popular use by the tintype and albumen carte de visite. The dating waned in popularity by about , but was produced into the early dating. With modern paper photography a science or plastic ambrotype negative is first made, and this negative is used to ‘print’ the image on paper.
Due to a special black backing, the dating appears to the viewer to be positive tonally dark to light , though is reverse laterally left to right as with a negative. Any letters on an athlete’s uniform will identifying backwards. The photographic process produced one and only one photo. There was a ambrotype for making plates, but it was how used.
Amongst today’s tintypes Photo are considered the most desirable and attractive, the Ambrotype the next most desirable and the photo how. Metal and glass plates were manufactured then sold to the photographer or photography value. The photographer could use the entire plate to make a large expert, or, as was more common, cut up the plate to identifying multiple smaller tintypes.
How to Date Your Old Photos
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Cased Images & Tintypes KwikGuide: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes Paperback – Aug. 8 by Gary W Clark.
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Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes
These direct image formats are unique, developed directly onto support material with no separate negative. Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes are often enclosed in a hinged case behind glass; tintypes were sometimes placed in thin folding cases. Consider the use of facsimiles instead.
G Title: Maria Weston Chapman Creator/Contributor: Created/Published: [Boston?] Date created: (approximate) Physical description: 1 photograph.
Last week I began a discussion of the oldest photographs, all of which were produced as encased images. The daguerreotype was the earliest of these: it was a positive photographic image on a copper plate, produced from to the early s, and was most popular from to The ambrotype is the second kind of photographic image that you may find in a case. Essentially this procedure involved coating a piece of glass with chemicals, putting the glass in the camera while still wet and exposing it to light in front of an image.
The resulting picture was called an ambrotype. These were negative images. To make them appear positive, a piece of black cloth or paper was placed behind the image, or black shellac was applied to the back of the glass. The resulting image was reversed, however, and represented what the person would look like in front of a mirror.
Ambrotypes were very delicate images and had to be protected. For that reason, they were placed in cases. Early ambrotypes often had another piece of glass placed behind the glass negative, to sandwich the image and further protect it. This assembly was then placed into the case. The case had a lid that was on hinges and latched.
Care of Encased Photographic Images – Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 16/1
One of the most available, most misunderstood and certainly the most misidentified of all antiques are photographs. It would be difficult to find an antique dealer who has not at one time or another bought and sold 19th century photographs, yet, the average dealer would be hard pressed to correctly identify or date the different types of photographic images they routinely encounter. This exploded view of the anatomy of a photographic case shows the various levels of the image side of the case.
All images courtesy Dr. Anthony J. I bought my first 19th century photograph in on a farm in Pennsylvania, out of a barn that housed ducks and doubled as an antique shop.
In progress: Seeking additional comments and images to develop this section Date: Initiated January The ambrotype is an under-exposed wet collodion negative on glass that appears positive due to the presence of.
Double-ninth plate thermoplastic case, Children Playing with Toys Krainik Contained within are two ambrotypes. Case is worn, with many nicks and a chipped area around the left clasp. Patented Oct. With daguerreotype of young man with original seals intact. Case is worn and chipped, without velvet pad, but quite uncommon.. Obtained in Chester, NY, Jan. Hinge Patented Oct.
In that the second patent date is missing from this printing of the paper insert, one might surmise that it was produced after Oct. Case is in fine condition, tight and strong, without nicks or cracks except is missing velvet pad. This case is black as opposed to the Case33 which is brown.
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Although there are numerous types of photographic processes, most of your old photos are probably ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes.
Dating ambrotype photographs is fairly easy for genealogists. It is a cased image like the daguerreotype, but it was valuable-lived. The ambrotype was only in popular production for about ten years. So, if this is part of your value puzzle, you can be sure it was produced between and about The ambrotype’s life span was very short, wide-spread use was valuable than ten app, but produced a vast collection of beautiful images. While the name ambrotype was derived from the Greek word ambro, meaning imperishable, it was still a delicate, easily damaged photograph.
One dating it did possess over the silver daguerreotype was that it did not tarnish. The ambrotype photograph was made by coating a piece of glass with a silver solution and exposing this to the image.
Developing skills for identifying vintage photos
The treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. The reader assumes responsibility for any application results or interpretation of information. The ambrotype is an under-exposed wet collodion negative on glass that appears positive due to the presence of a dark backing or use of dark glass support. In most instances, the image is varnished and placed in a case for safe-keeping. Known examples of ambrotypes printed on yellow or blue glass supports exist, but the occurrence is rare.
Can be dated by mats and cases – simple designs are the earliest. (Negative). Ambrotype: Peak years (Because it is a wet-plate collodion.
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Indispensible Resource to Identify People in Early Photos The Cased Images and Tintypes KwikGuide is a detailed and clear source of identification tips and photo dating information for daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. This is an indispensable reference tool for genealogists, family historians, and photocollectors who are conducting research on vintage 19th century photographs. Read more Read less.
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