Genealogy research Dating vintage photographs by clothing & hairstyles

Reach out to those distant cousins. The arrangement of the bodice fabric followed prevailing female fashions and sleeves were usually short and puffed, perhaps trimmed with ribbons or frills fig. However, the cases were soon replaced by paper sleeves. The bodice of her dress along with the narrow sleeve is also indicative of this time period.

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Fashion & style
Dating and Identifying Your Old Family Photographs

Type of photograph To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J. Throughout the later s, the front of the skirt became progressively flatter, with the emphasis growing increasingly on the back. Most likely, but if not, the photograph was obviously treasured to have been kept throughout the years.

In a dramatic change occurred and fashionable skirts rose to just below or on the knee, these shorter hemlines remaining in vogue until at least and offering a firm dating guide. This is such a great article on dating old photos. You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go. The photographic process makes the photographs appear to float.

During the s, several new male garments were introduced, most notably the comfortable lounging jacket that was shorter than the stately frock coat and often worn with loose, contrasting trousers fig. Email and social media make it easier to contact more distant relatives. Narrowing the date range a photograph was taken will narrow down the potential candidates the people can be. But tintype photo studios were still around into the early s as a novelty. Wealthy subjects had many fashionable ensembles to choose from, whereas ordinary working-class ancestors usually donned their best outfit, english gentleman dating kept for church on Sundays and special occasions.

By the time photography reached a mass market in the s, the concept of fashion was already well-established and was widely understood across the social spectrum. You may not have much oral history in your family or a large extended family to ask. In the early s, Michael would have been in his twenties and Peter in his teens and both were living in St. To learn more about my mystery photo, I checked examples of photos in the collections of Andrew J. Lisa believes researching your genealogy does not have to be overwhelming.

Knowledge in action

The type of photograph can place your photograph in a specific time period. Michael was seven years older than Peter, who was seven years older than Timothy. By examining the style of fashion worn by the subjects in an old photograph, it is possible to deduce the approximate date it was taken. Sometimes a good guess is as close as you'll get to the answers. Like the daguerreotypes, ambrotypes are in small hinged cases.

Family chronicles dating old photographs

When was the subject born? Your email address will not be published. There may also have been a time lag of a few years between new fashions first being worn in urban areas and their adoption in remoter country districts. How did the photograph s come into your possession?

How to Date Old Photos - Daguerreotype Cabinet Card Tintype - Geneal

How to Date Your Old Photos

  1. By the s, naturally-shaped skirts were fitting closely over the hips, the main dating feature of this decade being the bodice or blouse sleeve.
  2. Characteristics of the photograph itself provide clues to its age.
  3. Instead of glass, the image was on an iron plate.
  4. All you need is a solid plan, a genealogy toolbox, and the knowledge to use those tools.
  5. Who are the individuals in the photographs?
  6. Have you ever remembered when a photograph was taken of you based on your hairstyle or on the clothes you wore?
Type of Photograph

Time to log on to the computer! The image is on a silver clad copper sheet which was then sealed inside a wooden case or a frame under glass to protect it. Many prints also included the name and location of the photography studio on the bottom of the card.

Where do you find examples of hairstyles and fashions from different time periods? With this information, you will be able to estimate the date your photograph was taken and begin to narrow down who could possibly be in the photograph. Another extensive online resource is the Library of Congress. The cabinet card reached its peak popularity in the s but was used into the early s.

  • Like today, some of our forebears were more interested in their personal appearance than others, spending proportionately more of their income on new clothes and accessories.
  • During the s and s, the jacket lapels were often longer, while trousers sometimes show a centre front crease and may have turn-ups fig.
  • Early tintypes were put under glass, but later were placed in cardboard sleeves.

Fashionable clues I now turn to fashion to see if what these men are wearing can help me narrow the date range of the photo. These photographs were frequently displayed in cabinets or bookcases, hence the name. For men, look at vests, neckties, the fit of a jacket loose or fitted and how it is buttoned. This is the time to turn to common sense. Early tintypes were in small, hinged cases like the daguerreotypes and the ambrotypes.

Know What You Already Know

Family chronicles dating old photographs

The primary difference is the size. Enter a photo type into its search engine and you will see many examples that may turn out to be similar to the photograph you are researching. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Hi please help me know the year in which this photo of our grandmother has been taken. Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs.

Online resources can help you piece together clues from different eras

Knowing the type of photo can still leave a large time period, but if you know the subject of the photo, your genealogical research should be able to help you narrow that. Skipping this step is tempting, but avoid that temptation! What a great read and wonderful information. During the later s and s the male suit was tailored more narrowly, the jacket developing high, free dating profile templates neat lapels and a handkerchief often worn in the breast pocket. Who owned the photograph s before you?

Her full skirt and the fuller sleeves were common in the fashions of Civil War women. Which two of my great-grandfather's brothers are these? Photo was often displayed in an ornate, hinged box. Cabinet Cards The larger version of the carte-de-visite, cons of these images were mounted on heavy card stock to keep the photos from curling. But it does help me rule out a pairing of Michael and Timothy.

The Photo Organizers

Ideally we should consider all these criteria when considering the clothing of family members as seen in old photographs. Family historians often wonder whether their poorer forebears would have been able to dress very fashionably. The answers to these questions can narrow down which side of the family the photograph s belonged.

The elder is wearing a watch chain and a pinky ring. She wears a typical hairstyle of the day with a middle part and the hair styled over the ears. Therefore the photo is more than likely Michael and Peter, perhaps taken before Peter left for Kansas to live with relatives, leaving Michael behind.

In early photographs of the s and s, they usually wear a long tunic top or full-skirted dress, over wide ankle-length or shorter trousers. Thank you for your interest in volunteering! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Of course, jenny mccarthy still there were exceptions to this general principle. Daguerreotypes This first successful photo process is attributed to Louis Daguerre.

Later, in the s and s, hand-knitted Fair Isle and other patterned knitwear was popular for jerseys and sleeveless vests. Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall. Her hair is pulled into a bun in the back. Close examination of sleeves and collars can provide valuable information. Notify me of new posts by email.

During the s the popular smock dress was introduced, the fullness of the fabric falling freely from a fitted chest panel or yoke fig. Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive. Some are obviously older photographs. Sadly, the age difference doesn't help me much.

Family chronicles dating old photographs
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