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.
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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You may see this stereotype portrayed in older movies and TV shows where old women wore costumes that were a generation outdated.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. That is not to say that all older, rural, or lower class people were way behind the time.
Dating old family photographs
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.
and author of Out of Style to help time date old family photographs based on our ancestor’s fashion choices and clothing trends of their time.
Dating an old photo is key to correctly identifying the person in it. I sat down with Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective , for her tips on where to get started when dating old photographs. Maureen also discussed the importance of researching the photographer. City directories can be a big help in this. How can you tell in a black and white photo? Maureen explained to me that blue eyes show up pale in black and white photographs.
Good to know! Disclosure: the link to Amazon is an affiliate link, which means that I earn a little bit when you purchase through there. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Uh-oh, you mean this could become addictive? I just bought my first flea market bible because it had old photos inside, in great condition.
No names, but I had to see if I could find out who they are and maybe connect them to a living family member!
Dating old photos from clothing
I think they are very smartly dressed for a crowd scene and would really like to know more about the picture. Skirts were floor-length at the turn of the century and grew shorter as the century progressed. While their hair would not be short, the type of bun, bangs or no bangs can provide hints to the age of the photograph.
Can you think of any other ideas that may have helped you out that could help someone organize and date their photos that I didn’t mention here?. So it is important you understand the different pieces. I find it to be very useful in many ways.
Will dating my old photograph help me to decide who the subject is? Yes, an photographer’s name; photographer’s address/s; hairstyles; clothes and fashion.
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3 Things to Look at When Dating Old Photos
Ideally we get asked again. There are wearing an old photograph they were taken. As the knowledge dating my site. In identifying your old photograph. Learn tips on the midwest genealogy as well could stumble upon exceptions to date their family history of the s.
Jul 12, – Dating old photographs from clothes worn in the s – Victoria and Albert Museum.
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. If I needed more data points, other style cues I could research would be the fit of the dresses, the hairstyles, and their jewelry. By way of example, your relative might have been a trendsetter… or perhaps she cared little about fashion and was always a few years behind. Nancy Price. View All. Tags ancestry antique clothes clothing family history family trees genealogy hobbies photography vintage.
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Dating Images Photographic Images of Children
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First, let us look at the clues that will help you to date an old photo. 1. Clothing and Accessories. When we look at our old family photos one of the first things that is.
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Dating clothing in old photos
Introduction : Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary searches old newspapers and historical books to show how illustrations of fashion trends in hats can help you date an undated family photograph in your collection. One of the points I made in that article was that if you can find a newspaper advertisement that matches a hat found in an old photograph, use the newspaper to establish the time period that photo might have been taken.
This is an important determination, as it can eliminate relatives not from that time period as possible candidates for the people in the photo. Photographs published in newspapers can be used to study early fashion trends—but only after Before that time it was common practice for American editors to enlist artists to sketch and report on news events, from steamboat explosions to the battles of the Civil War.
Garment details can help.
The processing dates at the back of the photographs are sometimes engraved at the back of the photos, sometimes which could be overlooked if the photograph dates back to a very long time. However, upon careful scanning the missing dates could be revealed in many cases. Pay attention to details and you can date old photos accurately. Also, it is important to look at the packaging material of the photograph carefully, the date of issue could be found on the envelopes containing the photographs.
The negative holders contain the date of the photographs taken; upon looking closely this could be of help when the dates are present nowhere else. The imprint of the photographer would also give the name of the studio which could be located upon knowing the city the photo was taken in, and also with the help of local directories found in the libraries.
Dating old photos clothing. How to Date Old Photos
Hats from Provides vintage photograph restoration, books, and photo dating tips to genealogists and historians. If you have a box of unlabeled photographs in your basement or attic, you aren’t alone. Most families pass down photos that aren’t labeled, and it takes a Have you ever considered using Pinterest for your Genealogy and family history research?
More importantly, the Fallows boys had no sisters. The trouble with photos of children is that their clothing tends to be difficult to date. Men and.
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How to Date Old Photos of Our Ancestors with Early Fashion Trends
Scotts Valley Butler Ln. Hover over these three examples for dating your ancestry through clothing and a photo is due to date them. Old photographs?
Dating old photographs. • Evidence: • Type of photograph. • Background clues, i.e. props. • Clothes worn by the sitter. • Date studio was in operation. • Possible.
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Please don’t post just “thanks for the add” or something similar. We don’t voluntarily “fix” or colorize others’ photos or ask for help with that. We don’t ask for archiving advice or which editing software, scanners, etc.